Category Archives: Events

FAQ – can you provide more details about volunteering?

Whole Foods Magazine Drive

Whole Foods Mag Drive

Some of the best blog posts originate from your inquires. Today, we were asked for more details about our volunteer needs.  As you will see, there are endless ways to be involved in our literacy work in your community, school, and even your home. Volunteers are our lifeblood and our literacy champions.

The easiest and most important way to help is to follow us on twitter and facebook.  Ask your friends and family to follow us too.

Organize a local team: We are an all-volunteer organization with many ways to be involved, depending on your availability and interests. We need community and school leaders and teams to be successful. We would very much like to set up sustainable magazine recycling operations in communities and schools – where once or twice a month, collected or donated magazines are delivered to local shelters and literacy programs. That involves setting up a lasting team to organize and keep the effort going. The team may grow and shrink and the members of the team might change, but with good leadership and guidance, the torch can be passed from year to year to keep the local project going strong.

Harvest magazines at Whole Foods: We are making a concerted effort to collect magazines at every Whole Foods store in the U.S. and other locations for delivery to new readers via nearby literacy programs. Whole Foods has been a great partner in this effort.  Each store has to be organized individually, and requires a reliable, sustained effort to succeed.

Sponsor magazines for homeless peers: Also, there is a very serious problem in every community relating to homeless young people and students. Every school district has a program that focuses on homeless children. We’d like to organize teams in schools to “adopt” a group of peers – perhaps in their own or another school district anywhere in the U.S. and sponsor new magazine subscriptions for those readers – the idea is to share the magazines we love to read ourselves and the wonderful experience we enjoy reading them with others who do not have ready access to them.

A Mag Drive to feed families hungry to read: Another project – which is more of a one-time effort or could happen periodically, is to organize a magazine drive at a supermarket or book store – that’s like a food drive, but you’d collect magazines for a local domestic violence or homeless shelter or for distribution to families with groceries they receive from a food pantry.  A food drive can be combined with the magazine drive to feed hungry bodies and minds and to easily put reading materials into homes that have few.

Ship us your magazines: Another great way to be involved at home or in school is to collect your magazines at in a medium-sized USPS box or to organize an event with your friends and ask them to bring their magazines to ship. When the boxes are full, they can be shipped for only about $11 to our magazine distribution center.  Help us to spread the word about doing this to as many people as possible.

Help us find and serve local literacy agents: With the local collection and delivery projects – an important first step is finding agencies that would like to receive the magazines.

Go viral: With all these ideas, we love to gather photos and stories to post to our blog, twitter, and facebook page.

Hope this helps stir your imagination.

MagHarvest – Organize a supermarket food and magazine drive

This article explains how to organize a combined food and magazine drive for your local food pantry to feed hungry bodies and minds.  This is especially important as summer approaches, when the need for food and learning increases, because children are out of school, and pantry shelves go empty.  Read on and volunteer today.

There are many parallels between hunger relief and literacy – feeding both the body and the mind is vital for life and productivity.  Whether a child in school or an adult in a job training program, the body needs to be fed for the mind to have the energy needed to focus and learn.

The roots of MagazineLiteracy.org are planted firmly in decades of hunger relief work that I have organized with hundreds of volunteers in many communities across the U.S., including food drives at supermarkets for local food pantries.  I began organizing food drives in 1986.  In 1994 I launched a toll-free national hunger hotline to connect hungry people, volunteers, and food to their local food pantries.  That same year, I conceived the Magazine Publishers Family Literacy Project because I knew that families hungry for food were starving for reading materials at home.

Food drives are easy and fun.  Even one person or a small group can spend a day at the entrance of a supermarket asking each shopper to purchase something extra for a hungry family, handing out a “shopping list” of priority items, resulting in thousands of pounds of food donations.  I’ve seen it happen many times.

Food banks, food pantries, backpack feeding programs, Meals on Wheels, and other nutrition programs are a natural way to get reading materials into homes, along with food.  MagHarvest is a special supermarket drive that combines food and magazine collection.  Shoppers are greeted at the supermarket entrance with a smile and “shopping list” that suggests needed food and magazines.  The food and magazines are delivered to a nearby food pantry for distribution to hungry families.  In addition to putting food on the table, MagHarvest shares our own favorite magazines and gets these special reading materials into homes that have few.

Volunteer to organize a MagHarvest drive in your community, so you can help to change the world of a child or a family – one meal and one magazine at a time.  It can be done in four easy steps.  Begin today and have fun!

  1. Locate a food pantry to receive the food and magazines.
  2. Ask a supermarket for permission – most will say “yes!”
  3. Organize a small team – two volunteers working two-hour shifts at the store entrance – enough to cover a day or weekend.
  4. Print up a “shopping list” flyer  – four lists per page – cut and handed to each shopper with eye contact and a smile.  Be sure to include food staples and “magazines for all ages” on your list:
  • Magazines for all ages
  • Baby Food and Formula
  • Canned Vegetables and Fruit
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Hot and Cold Cereal
  • Powdered Milk
  • Healthy Juices
  • Pastas and sauce
  • Chili and Soup
  • Beans and Rice
  • Packaged Tuna and Salmon
  • Canned meat
  • Cooking Oil
  • Crackers

Rowan University “Spring Cleaning” recycles magazines to new readers for Earth Week

Help us to promote and grow this wonderful seed planted by Ad Dynamics – the student run ad agency at Rowan University in NJ… during an Earth Week “spring cleaning” event, students recycled over 100 magazines to new readers via Volunteers of America. The Ad Dynamics team also documented how to organize a Spring Cleaning event, including posters, brochures, presentations, and even a video.

 

How to organize a Magazine Recycling event

Spring Cleaning – Magazine Harvest Poster

Happy Birthday MagazineLiteracy.org – give the gift of literacy

September 8th is International Literacy Day and our birthday.

Celebrate with us by giving the gift of literacy and comfort to at-risk children, teens, and families in homeless and domestic violence shelters, youth mentoring and foster care programs, and nutrition and job training programs.

Our wishlist: