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August 13, 2022: Co-op for a Cause

Today was a day that many of us had been waiting for – the Kaladi Brothers Co-op for a Cause event, a day in which they host a for profit event for non-profit organizations. The Kaladi Brothers owners wanted us to participate – they, like other organizations and individuals, said that, “you have a good project.” The Bright Lights Book Project has its very own 501(c)(3) so we were eligible to participate.

Kaladi Brothers Coop for a Cause Event

We prepared for this event in advance by getting to know some of those associated with the Kaladi Brothers, including one of the owners. The family came to our house - -five kids and two adults – we all had a great time, even taking the horses out on a trail ride. Then Marvin, their communications expert, came out for a visit. I gave him the BLBP bookcase tour.

I spent the week picking out and packing up books for this event. I mainly went with kids’ books and highbrow Alaskana books. This may have been a mistake – I should have had more Alaskana narrative books.

I accompanied Milena Sevigny and her three year old daughter, Sheirsha to this event. I say I accompanied because Milena drove. The sky was overcast here this morning. It was foggy with a light drizzle at Eagle River, the half-way point, then raining by the time we got to Anchorage. The event was held in a parking lot – the other nonprofits, like us, had shelters. Their shelters were more upscale than ours, except for one thing – we had sides for ours.

The sides proved to be our saving grace. If we didn’t have them, our very valuable books would have been sodden. I went over and checked out the Alaska Writer’s Guild site once we unpacked our books – they did not have sides on their shelter and their tablecloth was drenched, as were the books. These vendors seemed to me be well-meaning but a bit on the clueless side. I went and got them some handi-wipes and assisted them in mopping up the water. In turn, they gave me some really nice books, which I will get out into the BLBP bookcases.

We had a good turnout, considering it was raining, and considering that we were selling books. Most importantly, I learned something quite important. We made the right decision in making Bright Lights a non-profit entity. We are supported by grant funding. The sky could be the limit. If we were a for-profit entity, we’d be up ship creek. This is because people are not buying books.

If, say, we as a for-profit book store made (as we did as a non-profit book store) $100.00, we would not have covered our gas expenses or our employee wages. In fact, after a day’s hard work, we’d have been in the red.

We also would not be getting all the affirmation we’re getting. A little goes a long ways, for sure.

Would I do what we did today, again? Yes, but only as a non-profit.

Next: 221. 8/14/22: Home Sweet Home

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