Category Archives: Ideas

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!

Crowdsourcing magazine literacy

We are exploring ways to crowdsource components of our literacy work to broaden and deepen our community impact. We are building a simple, global, assembly line process for the collection, sorting, and delivery of new and gently read magazines to new readers – children and moms in homeless and domestic violence shelters, foster care, mentoring, and job training programs. Simple, elegant solutions executed by masses of hands, hearts, and minds will ease the replication of our ideas and the engagement of our stakeholders. The labor and information intensive tasks that help to describe our magazine inventory for our literacy agents can be broken down into bite-size pieces for scores of volunteers to add-value and then re-assembled into our global literacy marketplace for consumption by literacy programs and their clients. For example, the better job we do describing our magazines and their content, the easier it will be for literacy programs to request specific items and bundles to meet the reading needs and interests of their own clients. This will improve the quality of matches between available reading materials and literacy needs, increasing the contribution of our combined effort, while reducing waste and inefficiency where resources are already scarce.

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.

Organize a food and magazine drive to get food and reading materials into homes to feed hungry minds and bodies.

Food and Magazine DriveWe have had very good success finding new readers for the magazines we love to share at shelters and food pantries. Also, there are programs that support homeless teens in every school district, so that’s another great place to start.  It’s important for programs to know that you will be taking care to bring good quality, gently read magazines to them. One idea to try is a magazine drive at a supermarket or book store – like a food drive, but collecting magazines to feed families hungry to read. Another idea is to conduct a combined food drive and magazine drive – so feeding hungry bodies and minds.  This is especially timely as summer approaches and kids are out of school and away from food and learning resources. When a family goes to a food pantry to receive a bag of groceries, there would also be wonderful magazines inside, which helps to get reading materials into homes. Food pantries will appreciate the groceries, but also want to help families meet other basic needs to help families escape economic and food insecurity.

Post our banner ads on your web site and blog

A very talented and generous group of crowdSPRING creatives have designed and delivered a full portfolio of online advertising to promote MagazineLiteracy.org.

Help us connect to supporters and literacy leaders by posting these ads on your web site.  Select an ad to view the full portfolio.  Link ads to http://magazineliteracy.org

Thank you.

Web Banner Ads - Give the Gift of Literacy

Give the Gift of Literacy

Web Banner Ads - Subscribe to Literacy (Help)

Subscribe to Literacy (Help)

Web Banner Ads - Subscribe to Literacy (Donate)

Subscribe to Literacy (Donate)

Web Banner Ads - Comfort and Joy

Comfort and Joy

Web Banner Ads - Magazine Comfort

Magazine Comfort

Our purpose on a napkin

 

Sharing the magazines we love with new readers is a simple, but powerful idea.

Sharing the magazines we love with new readers is a simple, but powerful idea.

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