bookBgone Closes Successful Indiegogo Campaign
Well, the very successful bookBgone Indiegogo campaign has closed.
We were hoping to raise $1000 to ship 2000 pounds of books and, in fact, we raised $1920. We’re using every penny to ship books to those who want and can use them. We just (yesterday) sent Birch Community Services in Portland, OR, eight boxes of mixed kids and non-fiction, including cookbooks and ‘how to’ books. Also we sent two boxes to The Good Shepherd Food Bank in Maine.
In the coming weeks we plan to deliver another 20 or 25 boxes of books to the Bed-Stuy food pantry.
Do you know of any place that may want/need books? Are you trying to find a place that takes books? LET US KNOW!
Storm Affects bookBgone Pickups
The recent unexpected snow storm, with its related power outages has pushed backbookBgone pickups a week or so. We’re out and about, but there is just no place for the books! (Our world-wide headquarters is blacked out.)
How are you doing with this freaky weather occurrence? Of course, we’re reading.
A few months ago, local residents Andrea Hirschfeld and Lois Cantwell started collecting scores of used books from area residents. The duo picked up two books from a woman living in Springfield. On another trip, Hirschfeld and Cantwell went northwest to Montville to collect several hard and soft cover novels.
STAFF PHOTO BY LINDSEY KELLEHER
Local residents Lois Cantwell, left, and Andrea Hirschfeld show off a trunk full of books on Oct. 14 in the Panera parking lot on Morris Turnpike they have collected as part of bookBgone, a media removal and clearinghouse service they started earlier this year. These books will be donated to various non-profit organizations around the United States.
Taking these trips was how Hirschfeld of Short Hills and Cantwell of Springfield and formerly of Millburn founded bookBgone, LLC, a media removal and clearinghouse service for any unwanted books, CDs and DVDs. The two first met six years ago at Congregation B’nai Isreal.
Their goal, Cantwell said, is “to keep books out of the landfills and give them to people who want and need them.”
Each day, the duo works out of the basement of Hirschfeld’s Short Hills home sorting through and boxing these books which will then be sent to various organizations. A community center for women in Newark and charter school, a literacy program in Connecticut and Good Sheppard Food Pantry in Maine are among some of the groups that have received books from bookBgone. Recently, Hirschfeld and Cantwell facilitated a donation from the Chatham school system to the Cranford schools after Tropical Storm Irene; and delivered more than 3,000 books to the Brooklyn, N.Y., organization, “BedStuy Fights Against Hunger.”
“Families can nourish their souls [with reading] as well as their bodies,” said Cantwell.
The duo has so far collected more than 8.5 tons of books in the past 4 1/2 months, which equals 25,000 to 30,000 books. Children’s stories, “How To” help and advice reads, and spiritual books have been among the most popular donated items. Almost any type of novel, hard- or soft-covered book, textbooks and encyclopedias — whole volumes only — are acceptable donations to bookBgone. Wet and water-damaged books are not accepted. The organization will also take any CDs and DVDs.
Any Essex, Union or Morris county resident may participate in this free pick-up service. Occasionally, there are a few exceptions such as when Hirschfeld and Cantwell traveled to Montville. Currently, they are working with a Girl Scout Troop in Ocean County to collect books. People who wish to donate their books or media items must first contact Hirschfeld and Cantwell to schedule a pick-up date. Once the day and time is finalized, Hirschfeld and Cantwell drive to these homes and pick up the books, CDs and DVDs, which are usually left near the curb or on the house’s porch.
“We’re living in a place where people say yes, come get my books,” said Cantwell.
“It gets stuff out of people’s homes,” noted Hirschfeld.
Donations are not tax-deductible since bookBgone is an LLC partnership. One day Hirschfeld and Cantwell hope to expand their operation by turning bookBgone into a 501c3 or a BCorp, a for profit corporation that can accept donations.
Soon Hirschfeld and Cantwell will move their business out of Hirschfeld’s home to operate of a nearby storage area. Recently they finished a fundraising campaign through the website, www.indiegogo.com, in which they raised almost $2,000 for shipping books to the various organizations they work with.
People who wish to donate their books or media items may contact Hirschfeld and Cantwell at 908-912-6652 or by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.