My Nonprofit Reviews
Jamie Hope A.
Review for Book Industry Charitable Foundation, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
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.