Category Archives: Good Reads – Volunteers

Use this note to harvest magazines for literacy from your friends and peers…

This brief email or social media note can be used to collect magazines for literacy.  Send it to your coworkers, fellow students, neighbors, friends and family.  Contact us to learn how to bundle the magazines for literacy programs:

Magazine Harvest…

I’d love to collect your “gently” read magazines and recycle them to at-risk kids, teens, and families.  The magazines can be dropped [fill in a location here… for example, “on or near my desk.”]  Any types of magazines are valuable.

They should be “good” or “very good” condition.  Very good is like new.  Good means no torn or cut covers or pages, not water or moisture damage, etc.
 I”ll remove paper or obscure ink mailing labels with a permanent marker (or you can do that too) to protect privacy and then I’ll cover the spot with a new “gift” label – rather than cutting or tearing the labels off.
The magazines will provide to MagazineLiteracy.org, which which focuses on meeting the literacy needs of at-risk kids, teens, adults, and families served by:
  • homeless shelters
  • homeless student programs
  • food pantries
  • domestic violence shelters
  • mentoring programs
  • job training programs
  • foster care
Thank you for being a Magazine Literacy Champion!

Getting a local or school project started for recycling magazines to new readers

Thank you Tiffany for helping organize this Getting Started article for our local teams. Join us to start recycling magazines in your town for new readers nationwide.  Here’s another article for those collecting magazines at home to donate.

The Magazine Recycling Process

Hello and welcome to MagazineLiteracy.org where magazines are our specialty and our mission is to change the world—one magazine at a time!  A brief overview of what we do:  We collect and donate new and gently used magazines to the various programs we work with to share the magazines we love and to support literacy:  domestic violence and homeless shelters; foster care, youth mentoring centers, etc.  In this article, you will read just what we expect from you to help us spread the joy of reading with thousands of families all around the world!

We say “…The process of recycling is easy as 1, 2 3!…” and we really do mean that!  The first step is to start collecting magazines.  This can happen at the local grocery or book store, at your school, club or business, or even in your own home or apartment building.

 The magazines we share with new readers should be in good or very good condition – clean, with no torn or cut covers or pages.

An important step is to remove any mailing labels, to protect personal information and to allow a more dignified experience for the new magazine owner.  Carefully remove paper labels and black out ink labels with a permanent black marker.  Then cover the spot with one of our “gift” labels.   Contact us to get some.   Simply place the “gift” label over the blacked out information or where the paper label once was.  Repeat this with every magazine.

Next, sort your magazines by age group and topic.  Once your bundle is ready, we’ll help get it posted where literacy programs can find it and request it.  Be in touch for more information about this step.

That’s it!  You have just helped a child, their family, or a few dozen children and their families experience the joy of reading!  What a wonderful feeling that is…I hope you found this article informative and if you have any problems or comments, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Tiffany

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.

A message to our volunteers

Nearly 1,000 people have joined our volunteer corps and I’ve had the great pleasure to work with many of you on important magazine literacy projects that have reached tens of thousands of children and families who want to learn and love to read. Thank you for helping us to change the world – one magazine at a time!

This is a special communication intended to improve our volunteer information and organization. As an all-volunteer project, we rely on your passion and initiative for any and all success. Organizing such a large and growing group of volunteers is very challenging, and there is always room for improvement. I want to share some basic steps that can be taken to start or to continue your mission critical volunteer work.

The easiest and most important way to support our mission is to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and to encourage your social networks to do the same. We are a dynamic organization with a great deal of news to share – including about the volunteer work you are doing. For example, our Facebook page notes that the students in the Ad Dynamics advertising agency are kicking off a wonderful “spring cleaning” event to mark Earth Week where magazines will be collected on campus and delivered to nearby literacy programs – it’s a great model for other schools and communities.

I’d like to ask you to do one other thing to help us better organize your volunteer experience. Click on the link below (or copy and paste it into your browser) to provide us with some additional details about your volunteer interests. Many of you have already done this, but I’d like to ask you to repeat it one more time for a couple reasons. First of all, it will help us to update our volunteer contact information with the most current information. Also, and most important, we’ve added a list of specific volunteer activities that will help us help you to get started and keep going on vital community literacy projects.

[volunteer info]

It’s important to know about your time contribution and to measure our total community impact, so please be sure to keep track of your volunteer hours here:

[Volunteer Hours]

Also – stay tuned about new developments. We are constantly innovating and sharing lessons learned to improve our operations and results. Our website and blog offer a wealth of information from our many years on the ground. We are in the process of upgrading our technology and website to better organize that information so it is easier to find and use.

Our volunteers are our lifeblood – the heart, soul, minds, hands, and feet of our literacy work. Thank you again for your amazing passion and inspiration, and for helping us to get the wonderful magazines we enjoy ourselves into the hands, hearts, and homes of children and families.

Please be in touch without hesitation if you have any questions or ideas. I am looking forward to our follow-up and continued growth together.

Best wishes,

John

John Mennell
Founding Director
http://magazineliteracy.org

MagPower! Log your volunteer hours

Please remember to log your volunteer hours so we can celebrate your precious contribution and measure our community impact.

[log hours]

Thanks!

Log your volunteer hours

It’s important to know about your time contribution and to measure our total community impact, so please be sure to keep track of your volunteer hours here:

[Volunteer Hours]

Thank you!