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January 25, 2021: The Bright Lights Book Project: Growing by Leaps and Bounds

You have always found it to be this way – you get on the phone and start talking with people about the project. Always, they’re receptive. Sometimes they are not in need of books, but quite often they will have other contact information on hand for you. You’ve never been rebuffed or spoken to poorly. Everyone seems to think that the salvaging, categorizing, cleaning, and dispersing books is a good thing.

Today was another one of those days. You set aside three hours to make calls, and in this time you made considerable headway. As far as distribution efforts go, the Presbyterian Hospitality House representative said to bring as many books as I had on hand. Your response,

as you envisioned bringing in a truckload was “be careful, you may get what you wish for.” The person on the other end of the phone then repeated what she first said adding “we take all donations.”

So tomorrow you will spend the afternoon in the Meeting House and categorize, clean, and get a dozen or so boxes of books ready for distribution. The or so boxes will be additional books. Maybe you’ll send 14 or so boxes her way. This will most definitely put a dent in your inventory.

You also talked with Laura in Talkeetna. Judy (who you met at the end of your Valdez trip) said that we seemed like kindred spirits, so upon her advice, you called her. She indeed is someone you will talk with again in the near future – she’s hoping to get a re-use shop going in Talkeetna, and most likely will become an area Bright Lights Book Distributor. She also has a friend who is interested in getting a literacy program going.

You left messages with Mary at Fireside Books and Elaine at the Bishop’s Attic Thrift Shop. Just good, you are thinking, to make local contacts.

You also attempted to make some contacts with the movers and shakers in Alaska villages. You soon discovered that you were on the right track – you got a lot of “I will have so and so contact you.” If so and so does not contact you, you will contact them again.

And Pete, dear Pete, he assisted you today in putting together your Matanuska Health Foundation grant budget. In working on this you have all along been thinking that this is a win-win project. There is no reason at all not to back it.

For some time, you’ve been feeling considerable angst about books going unwanted and piling up at the Meeting House. This, after all, is what happened at the recycling center. Then you were hedging your bets, waiting on distribution efforts in hopes that they would come up with a place to store the books on-site. In this, a metaphorical card game, you lost. You have since accepted the fact that if this project is to fly, that distribution on your part is key. And so far, so good. After tomorrow, the inventory will again seem a bit thin. And this is what we want, a thin inventory.

Next: 26. 1/26/21: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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