Book-Raiser Spotlight: Central Primary School

There’s nothing like a passionate educator who goes above and beyond to include community engagement and philanthropy in their curriculum. Today, we want to spotlight one such incredible teacher who contacted us after reading about M+B online, and organized a huge Milk+Bookies book-raiser for his third grade class.

It was in Gonzales, Louisiana where this third grade teacher Trey Veazey of Central Primary School put together a Milk+Bookies event where children could learn the meaning of giving. There were 35 students involved and they raised 450 books which were donated to Eli Manning Children’s Clinic!

Mr. Veazey wrote, “We have a very philanthropically minded school, and I was hoping to nurture and grow that spirit!”

They even made the news, read the article here!

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Find out how to host your own Milk+Bookies event here!

by Keelan Ellis

And now for something completely different…

A message from our founder:

Milk + Bookies is a NON DENOMINATIONAL non-profit. We love working with people of ALL religions, and, of course, all ethnic backgrounds, sexual associations and ages. What we love about working with so many different religious groups is seeing, first hand, how the most important common through-line is HELPING OTHERS.

I, however, am Jewish. And as the Founder and Executive Director of Milk + Bookies, it is strange for me to 1.) share something so personal and 2.) include my own religious affiliation.

That said, last month, our family celebrated my son’s Bar Mitzvah, a coming of age rite of passage for Jewish 13 year olds. It’s a beautiful tradition that includes getting ones family and extended community to stop and celebrate a young person during this highly charged and very significant transition in their lives. As is the tradition in our synagogue, the parents give a small speech directed at the honoree. My intention was to be as supportive as possible while also acknowledging that my son is a “square peg” and doesn’t always have the smoothest time in life, because of it. I was flattered when several people asked for my speech after the ceremony, so I decided, since Milk + Bookies is built for families, I would share it here in hopes that it will speak to anyone out there who may have a particularly unique child. You can also find the speech on our website HERE.

Milk+Bookies -Meredith Alexander Speech

by meredith



What an exciting year for our Milk+Bookies supporters who have been nominated for the 2014 Emmy Awards. We could not be happier to see our friends’ hard work being acknowledged.

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Our Honorary Committee member and very talented friend Lena Dunham has been nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.










Milk+Bookies supporter Don Cheadle has been nominated as Best Actor for "House of Lies"



  Milk+Bookies Honorary Committee member Don Cheadle has been nominated as Best Actor for “House of Lies.”











William H. Macy, one of our Honorary Committee members, has been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series on “Shameless.”


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Milk+Bookies’ story time reader, Julie Bowen, has been nominated for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.






Jason Biggs M+B





Congratulations to the cast of Orange is the New Black for the many Emmy nominations they received this year. Jason Biggs has been a great help to our organization as a member of our Honorary Committee.




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Aaron Sorkin, a Milk+Bookies Honorary Committee member, created the show “The Newsroom” which Jeff Daniels is up for a nomination for Best actor in a Drama Series. Congratulations to the both of you!














A big hand to our generous donor, Colin Hanks, for his nomination on Outstanding supporting actor in a mini series or movie for Fargo.




Congratulations to all our supporters, donors, and friends. Thank you for all your continuous effort in helping out our organization. It is more than appreciated and your nominations are well deserved!

by Keelan Ellis

How to be an Everyday Philanthropist: Pt. 1

Every week, a group of 11-13 year old volunteers stop by M+B HQ and volunteer for the day. All of these volunteers have hosted their very own Milk+Bookies book-raiser and were inspired to give back on a regular basis! These awesome young volunteers always share with us their latest and greatest ideas about how they can give back EVEN MORE in their day-to-day lives, and from these awesome discussions, our newest video series was born!

Jordan photo

For this first edition of  “How to be an Everyday Philanthropist” we are featuring the awesome video made by M+B youth volunteer, Jordan. Jordan held a Milk+Bookies book-raiser for his Bar Mitzvah project in February 2014 and raised over 500 books for a local organization which services underserved families. In today’s blog post, Jordan shares with other children his idea about how to do something good for the world today: Unplug or turn off all your electronic devices not in use!

Here is the adorable video created, written, and directed by Jordan featuring his character, Helpful Harry:



Make sure to check out next week’s edition of “How to be an Everyday Philanthropist” for more helpful tips on being an everyday philanthropist! Inspire kids in YOUR neighborhood and join the Milk+Bookies movement by hosting a book-raiser today!



by Caitlyn Young

Supporter Spotlight: Bad Suns


A couple years ago one of our interns, Frankie Clarke, hosted a first ever Milk + Bookies concert party! In exchange for a generous donation of new or gently used books, event-goers were granted an all access pass to the concert. One of the bands who performed at this awesome event was a new local alternative rock band called Bad Suns. Since this event 4 years ago, Bad Suns have gone off to do some amazing things. Bad Suns have accumulated nearly 30,000 Facebook likes, toured alongside The 1975, performed on Conan, and released their debut album “Language & Perspective”. Pretty cool, right? Thank you so much Bad Suns for supporting Milk + Bookies, we look forward to seeing your continued success!

Bad Suns performing in 2010 at Frankie's Milk+Bookie's concert party

Bad Suns performing in 2010 at Frankie’s Milk+Bookie’s concert party

Check out Bad Sun’s single “Cardiac Arrest” it’s super catchy, and a total summer jam!

You too can visit our Host-Your-Own page and add a book-raiser to any summer get together – a concert, BBQ, pool party, you name it! All you need is the M+B Bookies Box and a few friends! Email us today at events@milkandbookies.org with any questions.




by Keelan Ellis

Add some Magic (Characters) to your next event!

Magic Characters1

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to have a conversation with The Mad Hatter?  Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of searching for a real-life Waldo, or asking The Man in the Yellow Hat what Curious George’s favorite dessert is?  Well we here at Milk+Bookies are here to tell you that you can do all those things, courtesy of Magic Characters!

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These amazing and energetic performers take any and every occasion to the next level.  Whether your planning a birthday party, a back-to-school bbq, or maybe even a Milk+Bookies Book-Raiser –  ;) – this wonderful cast of characters will definitely add a ton of laughs and even more whimsy.   From Captain Hook to Little Red Riding Hood, all your favorite storybook characters come to life to help make your event special.

We love utilizing the stellar talents of these performers at our Milk+Bookies events.  Last Halloween, we had a wizard come read some spooky stories at our monthly Story Time at the TOMS flagship store in Venice, and it was a gigantic pumpkin-sized hit!  The Milk+Bookies 5th Annual Story Time Celebration in April saw a whole slew of literary icons wandering the ballroom and reading to, crafting with, and joking for the hundreds of families that showed up to celebrate!  We even had Captain Hook participate in our scavenger hunt, which made one little boy say, “Captain Hook’s pretty scary, but he drew me a pirate ship so he’s okay now.”

So if you’re looking for a new and exciting way to add some lighthearted fun to your next event, celebrate in style with Magic Characters!  You can visit their website HERE for more information, and if you would like to host your own Book-Raiser, complete with special guest readers like Harry Potter or Tinkerbell, click on the “Shop & Donate” button on the left to learn more and purchase a Bookies Box!

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by Lauren Montgomery

Intern Spotlight: Brittany



Name: Brittany
School: UCLA
Position: Social Media Intern
Time with Milk+Bookies Spring 2014

Why were you looking for an internship? As I was preparing to graduate from UCLA, I realized that I wanted to get some hands-on experience in a non-profit to see if it was something that I would want to pursue in the future. I was really excited when my good friend, Cherise (a former intern), told me about M+B and I wanted to get involved!
What drew you to M+B? There are so many great things about M+B that really drew me to interning. First off, I loved what it centers around: kids, reading, and philanthropy. Reading was a huge part of my childhood. I used to blaze through books after books and my favorite part of the day was when my dad would read me a book before going to bed. I love how M+B strives to foster a love for reading in kids, especially in a time where technology influences so much of our daily lives. Even more, I love how M+B goes above and beyond of just inspiring kids to read, but aims to inspire kids to become “future philanthropists” through learning the importance of giving to others kids who don’t readily have access to books.
What was your greatest/most favorite experience with M+B? Most challenging? My favorite experiences at M+B definitely include anything having to do with interacting with kids. Whether it be talking to them during flashgiving and seeing their faces full of pride and joy as they drop the book they inscribed into our donation bin or having our kid volunteers come into the office and help us make buttons or bookies boxes, watching them be moved and dedicated through the things they are doing has been such a pleasure to witness. One of the most challenging experiences was preparing for Story Time at the Skirball. It was a long day with lots of tasks to be done, but at the same time it was so fun getting to work alongside so many people who were striving towards the same goal. Even though it was challenging, it was also the most rewarding to come back to the Skirball the next day and see it completely finished.
What was Story Time Celebration like? How did it feel to see all of your hard work come to fruition? Story Time was unlike anything I could’ve imagined. It was almost unreal – I mean, having so many different storybook characters just wandering around waiting for you to talk to them, enjoying the most delicious cookies and milkshakes, all the while making some awesome crafts and having celebrities read their favorite childhood books? It was utterly remarkable. One of my projects was working on the raindrop display with Cherise and I can’t even describe how amazing it was to see all the recipients that M+B had donated books to be represented in such a beautiful and unique way. I may or may not have shed some tears ;)
What was the most surprising statistic/fact you learned about service learning or literacy? 81% of adults who participate in volunteer work or support a cause were exposed to service learning as a child. This means that as an organization, M+B has such a huge influence on kids for the long-run. Not only are we raising awareness for kids, but we are also planting a seed of giving and philanthropy for their whole lives and that’s pretty awesome.
What is your biggest piece of advice for future interns? Take advantage of the amazing sources of information that Caitlyn and Meredith are! It is so rare, especially in LA to be able to work in the same office as the Program Manager and CEO/Founder of a non-profit company. They have so much knowledge about what they do and are so wonderful as people in general that it is so easy to talk to them about anything!
And anything else you want to add. Yummy lunches, and even better cookies from Isabella’s, plus, Meredith’s dog, Molly is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. 

Thank YOU Brittany for a wonderful Spring term with us at Milk+Bookies! We were so lucky to have you as part of the M+B family, and we can’t wait to hear about all of the adventures post-grad life brings you!

by Caitlyn Young

Milk+Bookies Invites by Punchbowl

How cute are these customized Milk+Bookies e-vites by Punchbowl.com?


milkandbookies invite


These handy e-vites are free to use and perfect for any Milk+Bookies occasion!
From invite cards, to save the dates, Punchbowl has all the tools to help you send adorable Milk+Bookies themed e-vites for your next M+B book-raiser! Check them out today, and feel free to send us a copy at info@milkandbookies.org – we love seeing our hosts have fun customizing their big day!

by Caitlyn Young