As with most resources similar to BINC, as a community, we never understand how important they are until we need them. As booksellers, we walk into this profession knowing our passion will have to compensate for our pockets. It's an industry with small margins and knowing that, many booksellers live on a financial tightrope; any unexpected circumstance tips the balance unfavorably. My scales tipped with a very immediate and unforeseen divorce to my wife of three years which precipitated a relocation on my part. Without the help of my wife's income and the substantial amount of money a move costs, to say I was depressed and panicked was an understatement. Fortunately, my new position at an independent bookstore and a place to stay was quite serendipitous, however, I was quickly finding out that no matter how hard I worked until the move, I was not going to have the extra funds to afford it. This is when I reached out to BINC. Asking for help has always been hard for me but asking for money has always been the hardest. BINC makes this process quick and painless and their staff is unbelievably understanding and encouraging. With a quick application and the necessary documents, BINC wrote a check to my landlord that paid for 2 months of my rent, giving me time to put that money towards other debt and build a savings from my new job. This organization is special and the booksellers etc that donate to this great organization are also sending a message to the people who need it; you deserve it, we want to help; what you do is important.
On the night of September 9, 2019 my beautiful bookstore burned to the ground along with the entire aisle I was in at The Market of Marion. My husband's job was also lost since he managed a store across from me. This was devastating and frightening. The Indie Bookseller Group on Facebook told me about BINC. BINC addressed my concerns immediately and have already paid some urgent bills for us. I cannot thank them enough.
Earlier this year I was diagnosed with a medical issue that required surgical treatment. The post-operative recovery period meant I'd be off work at the book store I'm employed at for several weeks. I knew I needed the treatment and time to heal, but it came during a time of great upheaval in my personal life, and the stress of how I'd be able to pay my medical expenses and care for my family financially while unable to work was a stress I knew could make my recovery difficult. I'd learned about BINC from a social media post shared by fellow retail booksellers, and instantly felt a sense of peace and relief just knowing there was a foundation out there willing to help, even before I submitted my application for assistance. That feeling grew when, almost immediately after my materials were submitted, I heard from Kit and was assured she and the foundation would do whatever was possible to help. Kit was ever diligent in letting me know how the process of addressing my bills with the medical provider was progressing. When one of her last correspondences with me was to inform me that an agreement had been reached and that BINC would be forwarding a payment on my behalf that would result in the close of my account, it was as if a weight I'd been carrying for weeks had been lifted. Without question, I could not have taken care of my family's needs financially during this time AND addressed this financial matter without the support and assistance of BINC. I have, and will continue to, inform fellow booksellers about the good work BINC does for us, and when able, look forward to making a donation to them in a show of support and appreciation.
I can't begin to say how much BINC has helped me.
I'm a young bookseller in my early 20s, fresh out of undergrad and post-grad, with very, very little savings. I started experiencing a lot of dental pain, and when I went to the dentist, they hit me with a doozy—thousands in dental work, most of it extremely time-sensitive. I confirmed it with two other dentists and started breaking down. I didn't have the money, didn't have a means of making more in time to afford anything, and every payment plan I looked at would've required more loans just to get the work I needed done.
I reached out to BINC after my supervisor recommended them, and sure enough, they turned out to be my heroes. They worked with me quickly, efficiently, and moreover kindly. They cared that I was afraid and worried, and wanted to help as much as they could. The process for getting help was easy and uncomplicated, and they ended up helping me find affordable care, as well as approving financial assistance for the entire dental work bill! They took care of all of it! I'd never been so grateful. It's already scary not knowing if you can afford groceries, but having someone do everything they can to make sure that that fear isn't pushed further is amazing. I cannot recommend applying, or donating, to this foundation enough: they care far more than is ever asked of them, and do more than anyone ever needs to.
BINC was able to help me pay off an ER bill that Indian Health Services denied payment for. Once it hit my credit report I decided to give it a chance and reach out. They were so incredibly helpful and prompt! I contacted them on a Friday, submitted my paperwork on Monday and by Wednesday the deed was done! I’m so thankful for the help they are able to provide booksellers and to the donors who make contributions.
I had a great experience with BINC. The organization was able to cover my lost wages due to some extenuating circumstances at our small independent bookstore. The process was quick and the approval process happened in the blink of an eye. I'll forever be grateful for the funds and assistance that BINC provided us.
BINC is incredible. I lost a molar to a failed root canal and my dentist recommended a dental implant but there was no way I could afford it, even with dental insurance. I applied for assistance and was approved so quickly and easily that I was overjoyed.
BINC is an amazing nonprofit that I never knew existed until I saw an ad for it on the MIBA website. I'd been thinking about taking a leave of absence from work for a mental health issue, but there were bills to consider. I had no idea how I'd pay for my rent and some medical bills while I wasn't working--it seemed impossible. Then I looked at the BINC website and emailed Kit, who got back to me 24 hours later.
Getting help through BINC, for me, took much longer because I didn't know the ins and outs of taking a leave of absence. Please understand--that was my fault and not BINC's. But as soon as Kit had all of my documentation in place she was able to pay my bills within 24 hours. It was rather stunning.
I so highly recommend them. And as soon as I get back to work and have the cash to spare, I WILL be donating some money to them. I want other people to have the chance that I have, to be able to take time off work and take care of themselves if they need to. I never thought that I was going to be able to do this. BINC has given me an incredible gift, something that I will never be able to repay. Another reviewer said that the words "thank you" don't seem like enough, and that person is correct. The employees of BINC are allowing me to reclaim my life, something that has been lost to me for nearly FOUR YEARS. I cannot stress enough: these people are heroes, and I will support them in any way I can for the rest of my life.
I am a part-time bookseller in Cincinnati. I always wanted to work in a bookstore, but was never at a point in my life where I could do it full time and survive, or do it part time and devote my time to it. Two Christmases ago, I got the opportunity to devote some holiday time to working at one of our local stores and enjoyed it so much I stayed on a couple evenings a week, while still working full time in my regular career. I have made it to a point in my full time career where I am more comfortable financially, and have been able to contribute regularly to the people who work to make the thing I am most passionate about and brings me more joy than anything else (books and bookstores). It brings me happiness to know that even with a small contribution, I can help booksellers across the country when crisis strikes. Books, bookstores, and booksellers bring me such joy that it means something to me to be able to contribute to relief when booksellers are struggling. We all need a boost at times and I'm happy that I can provide a small one. After setting up my monthly contribution, I got a very sweet phone call from the folks at BINC and their genuine care for both their donors and their recipients was heart warming. Thrilled to be contributing to this organization.
Binc Foundation 06/21/2019
Thank you for making this community of book-loving people what it is. :-) We can't tell you enough how much we appreciate your support and contribution.
Saying 'thank you' seems woefully inadequate in comparison to the help we received. My husband and I are both booksellers; he had two surgeries, and was not working for several weeks; I have chronic illness and struggle to make it to work part time. BINC gave us a grant that saved us from homelessness. The gratitude we feel is really overwhelming.
Binc Foundation 06/15/2019
We're so glad that you reached out to Binc and that we were able to help.
I'm a monthly donor to BINC, and I couldn't be happier with the work they do. I've been fortunate, I have not needed their help. But I've seen then help my fellow booksellers, a ND I can't say how critical that was.
Binc Foundation 06/03/2019
Thank you, Katelyn! We can do this work because of donors like you.
My husband and I were sponsored by BINC to attend our regional annual conference last year. Without their support we would not have been able to attend. Very grateful for all the folks at BINC do for independent booksellers!
I've been a BINC donor at a regional trade show for a few years and a sustaining donor for about a year. Never did I expect to find myself in a situation where I needed help. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (he passed away in September, 2018). I needed to hire a sitter for him so I could go to work. The sitter's fees per hour were close to what I made but I needed and wanted to go to work in order to keep my job. BINC jumped in ( after a little coaxing from them that I was not taking food from the mouths of babies) and writing about the help they offered brings tears to my eyes. Just to know I had enough money to pay the sitter and cover some medial bills lifted a weight off my shoulders like nothing else in my life. I will forever be grateful to BINC and their wonderful staff and generous donors.
I'm proud to support BINC! BINC came to the rescue when our family found ourselves suddenly homeless and without a shop when our landlord decided to sell the building where we were working/living. Later, my college freshman was awarded a scholarship! As booksellers, we all know too well that we are working with a shoestring budget, but once we were able to find our footing once again, we decided what little we could contribute in the way of monthly donations would still make a big difference to our fellow booksellers.
Thank you seems such a small phrase . Last Summer I fell at work severely breaking my shoulder and needed to be away from the shop in hospital and rehab and for many months.
Though you do get a partial salary payment from workman's compensation it wasn't enough to cover some of my major bills. I got so far behind the worry and stress about the money was overwhelming. BINC really helped me out of the pinch I was in ,and helped me to be able to concentrate on recovery. I am back to work now and so appreciative.
BINC was there for me when I suddenly had an accident and really needed it. They are dedicated to their mission and beyond that make it truly easy and pleasant to ask for and get help, especially in a confusing and stressful time. Thanks so much!
BINC is truly amazing. I needed knee surgery last year and BINC was there to help with the medical bills. Not only that but they kept checking in with me as I wrestled with the insurance companies. So patient and kind and fast acting. We booksellers don't do this for the money, so in times of need it's so comforting to know that there is a place to turn. Thanks to BINC for helping me continue to do what I love.
My partner and I are both booksellers at a wonderful independent bookstore. A few months ago he went in for an eye exam, which led to the discovery of a large benign tumor in his brain. The news was devastating. It meant months of medical appointments, driving long distances to meet specialists, an intense surgery, medications, and a substantial recovery period. Needless to say, it was a stressful and financially threatening situation. Our work mentioned binc (Book Industry Charitable Foundation) as a resource to look into for receiving financial help while we were going through this. I contacted them and was amazed with the kind and quick responsiveness of their team. Once I provided all the information they needed in order to examine the situation and determine whether they could help, the swiftness of their response seemed almost immediate. They were kind, understanding, patient, helpful, and exceeded our expectations with the financial assistance they provided. When they confirmed they would help and to what level, I was immediately overcome with relief and a profound sense of gratitude. What was looking grim and terribly trying became a situation we could manage and navigate knowing our basic needs were met as we went through this experience. I am happy to say now the surgery was a success and recovery is going very well. Thanks to binc, we made it through and were able to put our energy towards what was most important. I want to encourage all booksellers experiencing (or who may experience) any unexpected hardship that renders them struggling financially to contact binc and seek their help. Binc is there to help and they want to help. I cannot express enough how amazing this foundation is! Thank you binc for everything!
To my tribe.. to everyone who has ever bought a flashing button at a regional show.. or who, feeling flush, sent a small check... or maybe you are a regular sustainer.. whether you have given $10 or $100 to Binc I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This Fall Downtown Books got hit with a double whammy. First Hurricane Florence looked to be headed straight for us and a mandatory evacuation was declared for the Outer Banks. Everything in the store below 36" was moved either up or out and we waited. And waited. We waited through five days of decent weather, no hurricane (it hit southern NC hard) and no business. Five days of lost business in the shoulder season is a tough hit, but it had been a good summer and book fairs were coming so we would be okay.. right? Right. Then came Hurricane Michael whose remnants hit us way harder than anticipated catching us completely unprepared in the middle of the night with a storm surge of two feet of water IN THE STORE. We lost $11,000 worth of inventory (wholesale). This time we were waiting.. and waiting.. and waiting on insurance which after depreciation and deductibles would still only cover about 65% of that number. We were open with the help of our incredible community within 36 hours. But we lost a lot of inventory and had to start replacing some immediately. That on top of the hit from Florence put us in a position where we were just getting everything paid, but our nose was barely above water and I was already dipping into savings that get me through the winter. Binc reached out the day after Michael to see how they could help. Pam immediately sent the application for store assistance. I sat on it and deliberated.. sat on it while I started tapping into savings .. sat on it while I tried to decide if I was really worthy. Finally, I had a phone conversation with Kit who said I absolutely should 'fill it out and let us look at it, there are a lot of ways we can help.' So I did. And within 24 hours Kit called to report that Binc was stepping in to assist with several months of rent payments. What a godsend. It was like I could breathe again. Binc truly is, in the words of Pam French, a safety net for our tribe. Our amazing book family. As she said 'This time you need the safety net, next time it will be someone else.' How lucky are we to have this incredible resource? I just found out. And again, I thank each and every one of you who have contributed to this fund for contributing to my safety net. Don't ever hesitate to pick up the phone after an unexpected whammy and call them. They want to help. They are there to help and they can help. Namaste.
I have worked for a bookstore for awhile and knew of your program thru my boss. I have seen some of my coworkers receive grants from the Binc foundation. I had a huge car trouble that resulted in me being short on my rent. The application process was simple and the help was almost immediate. I am a single mom with no extra support. I am forever grateful for this wonderful assistance at a real time of need. Thank you so much for your service.