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.
Working with BINC has been overwhelmingly positive. When my family had a medical emergency, they were quick to respond to my request for assistance. The communication and follow up has been exceptional , and BINC provided helpful contacts and resources in addition to their financial assistance. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend BINC to anyone looking to donate, or to anyone in the book industry that needs assistance. They really are exceptional at their work.
I am a bookseller and event manager for a wonderful independent bookstore. A number of years ago my farm was struck by a tornado which devastated our land, home, and dairy barn. The damage largely exceeded what we recovered through our insurance and many repairs to our home have been left uncompleted. BINC stepped in with a matching grant that will allow us to finish installing a shower in our now non-functioning bathroom. It has been a very long road coming back from the disaster that struck us and we are so very grateful for the kindness and empathy BINC staff members extended to us. After so many stones in the road, and refusals, and dismissals, BINC has restored our faith in community.
My late husband was an employee at an independent book store. The insurance provided was great, once the high deductibles were met. The store referred us to Binc to help with various costs. The staff members at Binc were so nice and so responsive. Not only did they help with funeral costs, they also helped with other bills. This was especially helpful as the bookstore didn't provide life insurance and my husband was young, so didn't have an outside policy. In addition, they sent a care package when he died and checked back with me. I can't say enough good things about the concern they showed while he lived through his ordeal with cancer and after he passed.
I'd owned my bookstore for ten years when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In a year's time, I had three surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Unfortunately, the cancer along with some other issues caused me to sell my store. The Book Industry Charitable Foundation called me twice. The first time was to see if I needed any sort of help with the bills for my cancer treatments or anything else. Since I was fortunate enough to have good insurance and support networks, I didn't require assistance. Then the foundation representatives called a second time to see if any of my employees required assistance. Fortunately they didn't either. I'd contributed to BINC over the years and knew it really helped booksellers and their employees in times of need. I had no idea, though, that they took their mission so seriously that they would call a bookseller when they knew there was an issue and thought assistance might be needed. That was above and beyond the call of duty. I'm proud to be associated with such a fine organization and will continue to donate even though I no longer own a bookstore.
BINC has been a phenomenal help to me! They partnered with Macmillan to provide scholarships to booksellers from historically marginalized communities to be able to attend a regional trade show. Without their support, I simply would not have been able to afford the cost of what was a truly game changing opportunity. As if this display of generosity weren't outstanding enough, BINC helped me again recently when I had an unexpected hospital bill arise. I could not afford the bill out of pocket and I contacted BINC only hoping they'd advocate for me (that is, that they'd negotiate the cost of the bill with the hospital on my behalf, or that they'd negotiate a payment schedule or pay a portion). They simply took care of the bill for me. I do not have the words to adequately express my gratitude. "Thank you" just doesn't feel like enough.
Since opening a small book store in the Sierras (30 minutes from Yosemite) five years ago, we have dealt with numerous natural disasters - fires mainly, bark beetles and mudslides. This past summer the Ferguson Fire closed Yosemite and burned for nearly 5 weeks. Our area suffered a loss in the 10s of millions. While we did not suffer any property loss or wages (my husband worked overtimes to pay our staff) we did suffer huge income loss.
I read about BINC in Publishers Weekly and as a member of the American Booksellers Association, I had knowledge of the organization, but never thought we would qualify. I sent an inquiry on a Tuesday and had an answer and funds to assist me in paying for rent and PG&E expenses by Friday.
I cannot express how this has helped my store and me personally. I have room to breathe and begin getting back on my feet due to their understanding and generosity. I'm not sure we would have made it past November had it not been for their assistance.
I have no words good enough to express my gratitude. You have made a difference in my life and in the lives of many others and you are appreciated.
Branches Books & Gifts
My mom was a former employee of borders corporate office, and I am so grateful that this foundation has kept this scholarship opportunity a float, even years after the closing of borders.
Review from Guidestar
Without Binc, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go back to school and finish my degree. Binc has changed the course of my life in shifting my career to the next chapter. I can hardly put in to words how grateful I am.
Review from Guidestar
I have been a bookseller for 9 years. A couple of months ago, my son had to be hospitalized twice, and my husband and I each missed more than two weeks of work. Since my son has been home, I have had to cut back my hours from full time to part time in order to continue to care for him. My family has health insurance coverage, but even with a good plan, there's still a significant out-of-pocket maximum, and with two emergency room visits and week-long hospitalizations, as well as continuing outpatient care, you can bet we've met that -- and then there's the lost pay on top of that.
My store owner has been very supportive of me and our situation, and she reached out to BINC on my behalf. My store and community raised money for us, and BINC supplied a matching grant that doubled what customers and friends and family donated, which meant we were able to pay all of our bills and get food while my husband and I were out of work and as I continue to work fewer hours, and we've got some money set aside for when the medical bills come rolling in.
BINC is a lifesaver, and their work is so appreciated by those of us in the industry. Bookselling is a labor of love for most of us, and it helps a lot to know that an organization like BINC has our backs when we need it.
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation helped me in a time of great need, and went above and beyond what I ever expected they would do. I was out of work for 3 months due to a broken ankle. I have insurance, but still had many medical bills as a result. BINC paid all of them! Then they helped with my rent and moving expenses when I unexpectedly needed a new place to live. A true gift! Thank you!
This organization is just THE BEST! Their incedible scholarships make continuing education, professional development, and emergency financial help accessible to so many in (and related to) the bookselling industry. Without them, school this semester would not have been affordable. Moreover, not only did I receive a scholarship, but they went above and beyond to honor all recipients in a caring way that made me not only feel excited, but PROUD of what I was accomplishing. I felt like they were my cheering section and I just cannot say enough words of thanks for their generosity and their existence.
Review from Guidestar
You always hear about the scholarship and tuition assistance programs that big companies offer their employees, especially chains like Starbucks and McDonalds. College has always been a dream of mine, but the price tag has always looked more like a nightmare. But I absolutely love books and I love being able to work while I'm surrounded by them, but I've always felt guilty for not taking more responsibility and working for a company that gives me an educational opportunity. Book Industry Charitable Foundation's scholarship has released me from this guilt and allowed me to do what I love while pursuing my dreams.
Review from Guidestar
My dad works for a used book store. He suggested that I apply for the BINC scholarship, and I have received it two years in a row. My sisters have also received scholarships. I am a big supporter of BINC because they support the community of book sellers and there families.
Review from Guidestar
Great experience from the application process to receiving the scholarship award. Thank you BINC!
Review from Guidestar
I received a scholarship from BINC and the scholarship application process was seamless. Thanks to BINC, I won’t have student debt this year :)
Review from Guidestar
The BINC scholarship through this foundation is allowing me to pursue my masters and become a teacher with the financial burden of graduate school lifted from my shoulders. I am grateful for the recognition and help I have received.
Review from Guidestar
BINC has helped our local comic book store community so much. We received a call from BINC letting know about their cause a year or so ago and we were excited to hear that they included comic book stores in their definition of book stores. When Hurricane Harvey hit, we contacted every single store in the damage path to let them know that BINC was really and willing to help. We know that they got to assist at least one store that experienced damage to their business and they also helped several regional employees with lost pay. They were amazing and were life-savers for our community.
BINC was able to help my family financially when my wife was laid-off during her maternity leave. We were facing medical bills due to the birth of our son that we didn't think we'd be able to pay anymore. At least not right away, which meant they would probably go to collections. BINC stepped in and paid them on our behalf, greatly relieving some of our stress. Thank you BINC for helping our family during this stressful time.
My health took a hit last year and in trying to cover all of my medical fees, I came up short for rent at the end of the year. Kit Steinway and the BINC community helped my family. I am truly grateful for their assistance. I was embarrassed about my situation, but Kit completely understood and never made me feel bad about myself. I cannot thank Kit and the BINC community enough for their assistance.
Hi...l want to share my story...BINC and Kit, who handle all my questions and finicinal assistance are the best organization out there along with with my company who helps booksellers. I have been a bookseller for 25 yrs. Last year in November l had to have triple bypass and still on medical leave ....BINC have step in and help me with personal household bills that l didn't know how l would pay...my FMLA leave disability ended and they step in again and assisted me...This organization ROCKS..and l am so thankful for all the assistance l have been given...May you'll be Bless. Thank You.. L.C.
A message for the team at BINC, who sponsored my scholarship to ABA's Winter Institute 2018 as a first-time bookseller:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the opportunity to experience the whirlwind of books, conversations, camaraderie, ideas, tips, and supportive words that was my first Winter Institute.
I applied for the scholarship because I found myself at a sort of crossroads: My background is primarily in international environmental policy, and I was unsure whether I wanted to keep that feeling of 'changing the world' on pause while I continued with my new love of bookselling. I had an inkling that I wouldn't be putting it on pause at all, but as a new bookseller, I didn't have even a fraction of the experience or perspective to really see how change could be made through this industry.
And boy, did I get a new perspective in Memphis. In Memphis, I found authors who are steadfast in their commitment to writing books for kids that look like them, booksellers willing and able to spar with anyone downplaying the need for more diversity in the industry, and publishers who are making some slow, but steady, progress in amplifying marginalized voices.
I made so many new friends, both from the far corners of Chicago, and from my home state on the other side of the country. In particular, I was welcomed with open arms and the occasional pointed finger and "Mariana. You're one of us," by the POC folk who understood exactly why I started sobbing when I met Junot Diaz. Together, we will continue to plot and plan and push and nerd out over amazing books.
I learned so much. I'm in this for the long haul. I potentially may have decided that just now, while typing it.
So thank you. Thank you for sponsoring scholarships and thank you for saying hi every time we ran into each other, and of course, thank you for being an amazing resource for booksellers everywhere. I'm sure we will see each other again.
Kit and the Binc. committee took the time to help me when I was experiencing financial hardship that had left me scraping by. After hearing my story, Binc generously helped me pay the rent that I was struggling to make due to sickness and a series of events involving my transportation and ability to work. Without their grant, I don't know that I would be able to work towards gaining stability again. I am beyond grateful to them for their help, and am so glad this powerful resource exists for booksellers.
After Hurricane Harvey I was displaced from my home and was living temporarily in a hotel and with friends. BINC sent us the funds to purchase food. It went a long way in helping us restart and provided meals while we were rebuilding our home. I truly appreciate everything they did during this disaster.
On April 29 the a large bookshelf fell on my back breaking my back at T12 and leaving me paralyzed from the waist down. Bink was here from the beginning and we could not have asked for better support or care from them. They even stopped in to see how we were doing after financially assisting us. What a great organization what a great group of people.
With every step, BINC has supported me in one way or another. They are lovely people who help make many bookselling careers possible.
Excellent range of very needed services. Excellent staff with great customer service skills. We needed some money when we were forced to move our bookstore due to lost lease. They were able to help us at a very unexpected hard time in a way that no one else could.
I simply cannot thank BINC enough. I had a doctor's appointment on a Wednesday and found out I needed surgery the following Friday. To top things off, I would be off work for 6 weeks. The whole ordeal was stressful. I'm a bookseller because I love what I do. Unfortunately, it's not a well paid job. Because of BINC, I was able to focus on healing. BINC does everything with such grace and dignity. Thank you does not seem like enough, but it is all I have.
Thank you so much!
Over a year ago I had to go to emergency room for very high blood pressure. I was treated and released with medication. I had health insurance but my deductible was very high so now I had over $4,500.00 I needed to pay. It went to collection because I just didn't have the money to pay it. I was not sure how I would ever pay it off. As a bookseller in the business for almost 20 years, I had known about BINC for a long time, and I always appreciated what they represented and did, and decided I would try to get help from them. Everyone I dealt with was so kind and professional and they helped me out. They are fantastic.
Hope and Support is what the Binc Foundation is all about. They are there with an outstretched hand to lift you up. I had some medical issues, I couldn't work and bills just piled up. I reached out to the Binc Foundation and it change my life and recovery.
I thank God for the hard work of Kit Steinaway and all the people at Binc
The Binc Foundation has renewed my faith in this world. When flooding in the Ozarks cause financial strain to both our business and ourselves the Binc Foundation helped with essential bills and this alone gave us hope. To realize there are still people in this world who value books and booksellers, it makes you feel like you are making a difference with your life's work. I know that Binc has made a difference in my life and I will be a supporter for life Thank you
My daughters have received incredibly generous college scholarships from BINC. Am proud to be a continuing BINC donor in support of the mission to support booksellers.
I just want to say that I am incredibly grateful and thankful for BINC. I just recently found out about this organization through a print out in the breakroom of the bookstore I work at. As of now times of been extremely rough for myself and my fiance. We basically were kicked out of both our families and thrown out on our own. I dropped out of college, I'm drowning in debt, and I was laid off twice. I couldn't handle more stress with my mental health and physical condition. Plus, having a toxic and abusive relationship with my family and losing the only person in it who understood my health needs, just caused me to almost lose myself. Living paycheck to paycheck, working as hard as I can, I really needed the financial aid of getting an apartment in fear of being homeless, on top of everything else, and that is what BINC provided for us. I am so so happy and I really appreciate the quick response and understanding. Thank you BINC and thank you, Kit for you hard work and help. I really hope to donate once I am back on my feet. :)
I found myself in the uncomfortable situation of combating bed bugs in my apartment complex. After a month of working with the complex to abide by all of the legalities, the problem still wasn't resolved, and my roommate and I were released from our obligation with only two weeks to find a new solution. With only two weeks notice, I did not have the funds necessary to pay a second rent and deposit on the clean, safe environment I needed, but BINC was there.
Kit helped me through my entire application, and was so incredibly responsive. When I contacted BINC I still wasn't sure what my next landing place was going to be, and Kit responded to each of the options I was looking into with details as to BINC would, or would not be able to help in those situations.
I'm so grateful for the time, and the help they were able to offer. Before their help, I had no idea how I was going to get another roof over my head in the time I had remaining. BINC helped me through an incredibly tumultuous time in my life so that I can keep doing the work that I love.
I've been involved with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation since it started.
The work it does to improve the lives of booksellers is stunningly effective: through scholarships, bereavement assistance, assisting victims of domestic violence... even being that warm and caring voice when there's nowhere else to turn: Binc is there for booksellers.
I'm proud to say I #ThinkBinc.. and I hope you will, too.
Thanks, Kit and everybody! So easy, so helpful! No hoops to jump through whatsoever! A bookstore closing is a tragedy for an entire community, but I'm gonna be OK! Books Rule and Indie Booksellers Rock! Thank You BINC!
It seemed nothing could go right for me all in one year -- disability required me to retire early from the job that helped support my small bookstore, then a divorce a few months later, costly medical bills, and more. BINC stepped up when I thought there was no hope and helped me tremendously. I don't know how to express my gratitude for their kindness, caring, and the speed with which they helped me out of an impossible situation. They are the non-profit I would donate to help keep small bookstores thriving when people like me have tried every other avenue with no luck.
BINC is such an amazing program! Their help through scholarships for my continuing education has meant a great deal. As a non-traditional student completing my bachelor degree, there are an array of challenges. Financial support helps to alleviate so many concerns and obstacles! Thank you!
I have worked at this Bookstore for 14 years, and I just heard about BINC Foundation. The owner of the store shared it with me when my husband began his treatment in August for Oropharyngeal Cancer. He was not going to be getting a paycheck while he was/ is out and I was devastated and so concerned about how I would pay the bills. BINC Foundation has gone above and beyond anything I could ever have imagined assisting with medical bills and the house payment. We are not out of the woods yet, but I at least have the peace of mind knowing that the bills will get paid. I would like to personally thank Kit for super efficiency and fast resolution of my application for scholarship. I am deeply grateful and incredibly humbled.
Earlier this year I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This isn't easy to diagnose, I learned, and the process required many expensive tests and expensive visits with specialists, as well as a hospital stay and time off work. I paid what I could, but I don't know what I would have done without BINC to help with the remainder. They made the process of applying very easy, even in my exhausted and mentally foggy state, and paid my outstanding bills promptly. The person assisting me even sent me a book on living with chronic illness, and this small kindness meant so much to me. This organization is a true blessing for people in the book business and I can't thank them enough.
BINC is such a helpful foundation! Their help in covering the cremation and travel costs for my mother's memorial will be a huge help in getting my finances back in order. Great people doing great work!
Thank you Binc SO MUCH for helping me get back on my feet! I can focus on my future now that those bills aren't hanging over my head!
A special thanks to Pam and Kit for their patience and kind assistance!
I am so grateful for BINC's generous support to help me complete grad school! I can't say enough. I hope my work as a future SLP justifies their investment. Many thanks. -Lindsey
I am so thankful for the scholarships that BINC has provided me with which has helped me to continue my college education. I am the middle of 7 kids, so my parents are not able to help out much with the cost of nursing school and BINC has been a huge help in this area. Thank you!!
I honestly can't say enough how grateful I am for BINC. With the foundation's tremendous support I am able to continue my college education without as much stress on my financial situation as I have in the past. The scholarship means even more to my parents who work so hard as independent book store owners. It means they have one less child to worry about (there is a total of six kids, four are in college). I can't say thank you enough to everyone who was involved in choosing me as a recipient. I could not be more thankful for this amazing opportunity!
Last year I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and was forced to not only withdraw from school, but also leave work. For 8 months during treatment, I was without a significance source of income and the bills piled up quickly. I was referred to BINC by a co-worker and they have helped me out greatly by offering me a matching grant to supplement my online fundraiser. They helped relive some of the financial burden that comes from undergoing cancer treatment and I'm so grateful they do what they do!
I'll be attending graduate school in the fall to study writing for children after a few years working as a bookseller. I wouldn't be able to attend without BINC! Thank you so much for helping me stay in this field and pursue a dream I wouldn't have even known I had without bookselling.
BINC has given me such great support over the last two years. Without their assistance, I would not have been able to get through school without taking any loans. They have helped make my dreams a reality. This is my last year of eligibility and I want to thank each and every person there is to thank for helping me achieve my goals.
For the past 3 years BINC has helped me achieve my education and career goals by providing me with much needed scholarships to pursue my graduate degree. Thanks to their generosity and consistent support, I was able to pay for school without taking on student loan debt and will be graduating soon burden free. I am so thankful to BINC for making my dreams a reality and honored to be one of their scholarship recipients.
The BINC Foundation has been incredible throughout my undergraduate and graduate career. I am fortunate enough to have been a recipient of their scholarship program for a few consecutive years which helped me avoid student loans and college debt. This is one of the few options that I still had left for funding when it became clear to me that I needed to continue on to graduate school. Every little bit helps! I'm on my way to becoming a great librarian thanks to BINC!
I am about to start my sophomore year at DePaul University this upcoming September. I cannot thank BINC enough for their financial support. This organization has helped me in so many ways. I'm now able to live in one of my favorite cities and study what I love. I am so grateful.
After a fire destroyed the apartment building I lived in, one of the many kindnesses I received was a phone call from Kit at Binc asking if I was going to need financial help. She had been alerted to my situation by another bookseller in my town. I did indeed need help replacing a number of fundamental things--a bed, kitchen equipment, furniture, appliances. Binc helped me substantially with the cost of putting my life back together and by doing so helped me deal with the overwhelming stress and worry inherent in such a transition. Thank you, Kit, and thank you, all the folks who contribute to Binc. You are really amazing.
I'd already had a rough year financially when my stepmother's health declined rapidly after a long illness and then she died. I haven't worked long enough as a full-time bookseller to earn paid time off. I was able to miss work and show up for my father without losing my apartment or getting behind on my utilities thanks to BINC. It was a huge relief for him to have me with him and my stepmother's family as he sorted through the inevitable details after a death. That time with my family was invaluable to all of us and I will forever be grateful to BINC for taking away the financial sting at such a difficult time. Pamela, the director, responded to my emails right away and was patient and helpful throughout the process. She was also extraordinarily kind, which is something that anyone who is grieving will know how appreciated that generosity is.
I was diagnosed at 24 years old with Stage Two breast cancer, and forced to leave my full time job. The rug, the floor, the earth was quite literally pulled out from under me. My partner became the primary breadwinner, but it has been a huge financial burden on him with the added medical expenses. The BINC foundation was able to get us the expenses we needed to not only stay on our feet, but flourish. I will be forever thankful.
When I received notice from my employer, a small independent children's bookseller, I thought I would be able to manage financially with supplementary income from unemployment and food stamps. And then I got the news that my rent was increasing by $100 per month. I was managing--barely--to hold on, but was having to pay my rent in installments and accruing $125 late fees every month. At our regional trade show, I attended the general membership meeting and heard from a representative of Binc. I hadn't suffered any of the major catastrophes that I thought were a necessary qualification for a Binc grant, but the presentation at the membership meeting made me realize that maybe I didn't need a major catastrophe, just a series of small ones. Within a week of initially contacting Binc, I was informed that I wold be receiving a grant sufficient to get me caught up on my rent, which would allow me to also get caught up on utilities (and some of my lost sleep). They saved my life and my sanity at a time when I was feeling nothing but frustration bordering on despair. If you are an independent bookseller in need, I cannot recommend the services offered by Binc highly enough. Even if you don't think you would qualify for a grant, I encourage you to ask. You may be pleasantly surprised.
When I was diagnosed with endometriosis, my doctors told me the best way to get relief at this stage of the illness would be with laprascopic surgery. Even with my comprehensive health insurance plan, the procedure--not to mention the time off work for appointments, the surgery itself, and recovery--was cost-prohibitive. Then came BINC. Pam and Kit helped me every single step of the way, from guiding me through the application process to making phone calls on my behalf to negotiate with the hospital regarding bills. They paid a significant chunk of my bills and then set up a feasible payment plan for me to finish paying off the hospital, where I'd incurred the largest and most crippling bill. I honestly could not have said yes to this very important and pain-relieving surgery if it weren't for BINC's assistance. I thank them in my mind every day and am now finally publishing this story here on GreatNonprofits.org so that they get the recognition they so well deserve.