The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation‘s monthly $1,000 mini-grant was awarded to Books for a Benefit on August 13, 2017.
Founded by two University of Michigan students, Books for a Benefit is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help low-income and minority students overcome barriers to a proper education. One of the projects the organization has undertaken has been to provide libraries for different nonprofit social programs. Books for a Benefit works to donate the supplies necessary to have a substantial library addition to these facilities with no cost burden to their budgets, recognizing that these programs are not always able to allocate funds for promoting literacy or the arts when they are often strained to provide for the day-to-day essentials.
Books for a Benefit provides a large number of books fitting the age ranges of program participants, furniture such as bookshelves and seating for reading areas, decorations, and painting and cleaning supplies. The organization has been able to build libraries in a variety of areas including the youth shelter services program Matrix Off the Streets in Detroit, Cornerstone Community Outreach in Chicago, and PRIMO Center for Women and Children in Englewood through Alternative Spring Break Trips to Chicago. Books for a Benefit’s efforts have created environments that promote and facilitate interest in reading through providing a safe, calm space to escape into the stories.
Books for a Benefit’s Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation grant funds will be used to purchase the supplies necessary to build more libraries, starting with one to be housed in either the Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti location of the youth homelessness nonprofit Ozone House. Grant funds will be used to purchase furniture, transportation, and food.
The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation is the Ann Arbor chapter of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization known as the Awesome Foundation. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.