April
29

Book-Raiser Spotlight: Naples Elementary

Milk and bookies 2015 17At Milk+Bookies, we love seeing all of the clever ways people host their book-raisers. We have seen people host book-raisers at birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, troop meetings, lemonade stands, and much more. Our Book-Raiser Spotlight for you today comes from Andrea and the students at Naples Elementary in Long Beach that decided to include Milk+Bookies in their Read Across America week!

Every year at the beginning of March, the nation celebrates Read Across America Day, which coincides with Dr. Seuss’s birthday. It’s a great nationwide celebration of reading, literacy, and bringing together kids and their favorite books. Andrea and her daughter thought that Milk+Bookies would be a perfect tie in for their celebration week and we couldn’t agree more! She hosted a Milk+Bookies “Milk & Cookies” school-wide book-raiser in which they raised 450 books!!! Those books have since been donated to the Long Beach Multi Service Center for Homelessness. This Milk+Bookies Book-Raiser was such a hit she plans on hosting another very soon!

 

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“Teaching kindness and the act of giving is very important to me and when a child isn’t just told about being kind and giving and are actually involved in the process, it makes more of a lasting impact. I love celebrating literacy and the act of giving and Milk+Bookies is perfect!”

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Thank you for making a difference with Milk+Bookies!!

Join us and start making a difference in your own community. Find out how you can Host Your Own Book-Raiser here and purchase your Bookies Box!

For some inspiration on how to make your Book-Raiser stand out, follow our Pinterest page!

READ! GIVE! GROW!


by Alesha Dailey
April
22

6th Annual Story Time Celebration

It is hard to believe that another Story Time Celebration has come and gone already!

Every spring, we host our huge fundraiser here in Los Angeles, California. It is designed to be a day where the whole family can come for some fun and philanthropy.

“This event is a SUPER BLOW OUT version of the “host your own” book-raiser. We provide books on-site from which children choose, inscribe and donate to a pre-chosen recipient. We have arts & crafts all made from recycled book pages, costumed characters from your favorite classic tales plus a celebrity story time and yummy treats!”

Can you believe that this past Sunday was our SIXTH year hosting the Story Time Celebration!?!? We are so thankful to everyone (sponsors, donors, volunteers, celebrities, and guests) that came out to support our cause and make this day a HUGE success! It was wonderful to again see so many people enjoying a few magical hours at the Skirball Cultural Center!

We would like to take this opportunity to recap this crazy fun day for you all and share some of the highlights…

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What would a Milk+Bookies event be without GIVING?? It is our favorite part after all! We are so thankful to have had Discover Books back this year sponsoring us and our efforts to get 3,000 books into the hands of children in need. We set up our very own version of a “bookstore” where kids could come throughout the day to pick a book to inscribe and donate. For their good deed, they would receive a Milk+Bookies “I Donated” sticker! We can’t tell you how amazing it is to see kids walking around absolutely covered in these stickers!!

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From the moment the doors open, you can catch kids flocking towards our arts and crafts tables! This year, kids could make birdcages, flowers, floating clouds, and paper crowns all designed and organized by Little Junebugs. Little Junebugs is also responsible for our photo booth props (pictured below), which were inspired by the launch of their hugely successful photo editing app, “Teensy“, that can be found in the App Store (purchases of the Milk+Bookies sticker upgrade in the app benefit our cause). Thanks to Snapgram for providing the super fun photo booth! In addition, we also offered a fun scavenger hunt, and a spinning wheel of tasks, that if completed, would earn you a special Harry Potter pin! Needless to say, these tables were NEVER empty and the volunteers have the paper cuts to prove it!

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One of the highlights of our event and the thing that constantly gets complemented, are our one of a kind decorations that can be found throughout the ballroom. We have a house, a menagerie of animals, and floating clouds with our recipient organizations names all made from recycled and damaged book pages. (We promise no new books were harmed in the making of the Story Time Celebration!) We have the amazing creative team over at Dutch + Finn Design to thank for these lovely creations and bringing the whimsy that everyone looks forward to!

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Story Time wouldn’t be complete if there weren’t your favorite characters running around! Thanks to the awesome folks over at MagicCharacters.com we had our lovely MC for the day Max from Where the Wild Things Are, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, Pippi Longstocking, Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, Dorothy, Thing 1, Thing 2, Eloise, Willy Wonka, and Pinkalicious!! Talk about a star-studded event!

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Speaking of stars, Milk+Bookies is thrilled to be the recipient of so much interest and love from such talented and amazing individuals. A highlight of our Story Time Celebration is always which celebrities we are going to have reading. Well, this year, we welcomed back amazing readers Dan Bucatinsky, Henry Winkler, Jayma Mays, Julie Bowen, and J.J. Abrams, as well as, new Milk+Bookies supporter Tom Felton!! The Story Time Celebration ballroom was full of your favorite celebrities like Tiffani Theissen, Marla Sokoloff, KaDee Strickland, Danielle Panabaker, Eric Dane, and many more! Thanks to everyone who came out to support us, we are eternally grateful!

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This year we decided to do something a little different and honor a children’s book author that we admired and respected not only for their amazing stories, but their amazing hearts. Dallas Clayton was presented with our special Bookies Bravo Award for his contributions to children’s literature and delighted the audience with an improvised reading of his book “An Awesome Book About Love”!!

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If you follow us on social media (if you don’t, you totally should!), you might have heard us mention our recent take over of the BookEnds programing and creation of the Milk+Bookies affiliate program Leaders+Readers, which hosts school-to-school book drives helping to build libraries in low-income public schools in Los Angeles, while teaching kids the importance of giving back and promoting literacy. Since it’s start a few short months ago, Leaders+Readers has already raised nearly 50,000 books, impacted over 15 schools, and countless children!! The 6th Annual Story Time Celebration was the official launch of our new program and it was so great to share it with all of you!! For more information on the program and how to get involved click here.

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This whole event wouldn’t even be possible if it weren’t for our amazing sponsors and donors!! A few we would like to mention is The Land of Nod who provided the beautiful furniture for our stage and green room, DreamWorks Animation “The Adventures of Puss in Boots” for providing our goodie bags, Tiny Prints who made our invites and thank you cards, Tot Squad who provided stroller cleaning services for our guests, Ergobaby and Orbit Baby for providing carriers and a stroller to be given away in our raffle, and McConnell’s Ice Cream for providing a delicious snack for everyone!!

Thanks to the team over at Elements Event Production who helped us put it all together!!

All of the books we collected at this event are being donated to Operation School Bell, who is being so kind as to honor us this weekend! Thanks Operation School Bell!!

We hope to see you all again next year!

Till then, remember to always…

READ! GIVE! GROW!


by Alesha Dailey
April
14

Tot Squad is Coming to Story Time!!

Can you believe that the 6th Annual Story Time Celebration is only a few days away?!?! We know all of you are getting just as excited as we are, but we are about to make your day even better…

Tot Squad is going to be offering their stroller cleaning services to our amazing Story Time guests!!

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“Rest assured that Tot Squad has traversed the globe seeking the best, non-toxic, baby-safe and mom-approved cleaning products around. Tot Squad team members undergo an intense training process, learning to remove stubborn stains and nasty germs to return your stroller or car seat sparkling and smelling delightful, as quickly as possible.”

If you were wrestling with the decision of whether or not to bring your stroller to the event, let us ease your mind. Bring it on down in whatever condition (it’s okay, we know kids are messy!), park it at the Tot Squad‘s cleaning station, and while you and the little ones are inside enjoying all that Story Time has to offer, they will clean it up and make it look brand new! Pretty cool, right?!

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We can’t wait to see the Tot Squad grime fighters in action!…
And don’t forget to bring your strollers!
Thanks Tot Squad!

It’s not too late to reserve your family’s spot at this years Story Time Celebration! Please call Elements Events at (310) 393-3201 to RSVP!


by Alesha Dailey
April
7

Book-Raiser Spotlight: Carston and Quenton

Amazing Book-Raiser stories keep pouring in and we love sharing them with you! Today we are excited to shine our Book-Raiser Spotlight on Carston and Quenton! For their 3rd and 1st birthdays, their mom Hilary decided to throw them a party with a purpose and Milk+Bookies was thrilled to be a part of their special day. Check out these future philanthropists in action (how adorable are they!?):

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How many books did you raise? 122

How old is the birthday boy/girl? Carston (3) and Quenton (1)

How many kids were involved in your event? 32

Where did you donate your books? Horizons for Homeless Children

How did you hear about Milk + Bookies? Web search

Quote from the event: “I wondered about how to talk to Carston about why we were collecting books. Milk + Bookies’ kit helped by having a sheet I could fill in with my sons’ names and how it made them feel to donate books to others. I explained that some kids didn’t have any books at home, or many toys, but that we were going to give them some. I then asked Carston how it made him feel to give the books to other kids and he promptly replied, “Happy!” (My mom heart grew three sizes).”

 

“I hope this becomes a birthday tradition for our family—collecting and donating books on their birthdays—wherever we live each year.”

 

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Thanks for making a difference with Milk+Bookies!!

Find out how you can Host Your Own Book-Raiser here and purchase your Bookies Box!

For some inspiration for your next Book-Raiser, visit our Pinterest page!

READ! GIVE! GROW!

 


by Alesha Dailey