Ditch the Grinch and Choose Your Own Holiday Adventure: New Ways to Slay this Controversial Time of Year

The holiday season is a whirlwind, whether you are captivated by the magic, or stuck in a repetitive groundhog day-like list of must do’s.  No matter where you fall on this scale, breaking the mold and trying new things can feel rejuvenating during a time where many of us are in a rut relying on coffee and spiked eggnog to get through.  You may even find yourself inspired to create some new traditions! Volunteer:  This is something you can do on your own or with friends and family, including kids.  There are so many options out there that allow you to provide some real support without a long term commitment being required.  Nothing zaps the holiday doldrums like the opportunity to be of service to others and feel the real spirit of the season. Here’s a great list of ideas!   Up your skills in the kitchen:  Instead of letting another year go by wishing you had more impressive selections to bring to parties or the office potluck, actually do something to up your game!  Cooking classes are a great way to channel your inner chef and take your culinary game to the next level. Learn how to throw down some impressive creations (or the experience will at least give you some funny stories and fond memories).    The Hill Center is a great resource for this, or you can check out some other classes in the DC area!   Make wellness a priority: This time of year it’s harder to prioritize a routine that focuses on daily self-care.  Sign yourself up for something that will allow you to treat yourself to a much needed indulgence for the mind, body and spirit. You can make an appointment for Massage or Reflexology, learn more about Aromatherapy, or even put on your boogie shoes and take some dance lessons. Celebrate the power of the Winter Solstice and start the New Year off with mindfulness and healing (instead of hangovers and overspending)!   Spend some time outside and in nature:  Spring, summer and fall are the seasons that really tend to steal the show for outdoor activities.  We all know those people who are part arctic fox and really keep up their enthusiasm when the temperatures drop, but the truth is many of us start spending a lot more time indoors by December. Bundle up and have an adventure! The Arboretum is still an incredible place to visit this time of year, and the Sculpture Garden now has a skating rink. You can hike or bike with a local meet-up group, or go see the lights at the National Zoo!   Learn more about local DC history:  If you haven’t already visited the Anacostia Community Museum, this current exhibit is a great excuse to check it out.   See a holiday show:  There are some fun options out there that are appropriate for all ages (and a nice break from the Nutcracker).   Go see a movie on the big screen:  Instead of Netflix and chill, get off the couch and head to the Miracle Theatre on Barracks Row.  This month they are featuring holiday favorites such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf and The Polar Express.  Added bonus: wearing a festive sweater will entitle you to a discount.    

Happy Holidays!

Every year we have the pleasure of helping Brent Elementary deliver Christmas trees–it’s always a great time, and one we look forward to! Plus, if we’re lucky, we might just get to pass off a letter to Santa. This year we moved into our new warehouse, so that’s one thing we can cross off our wish list, but I’m sure we’ll think of something else as we continue to grow as a company. Hope you’ve digested that Thanksgiving turkey by now, because it’s time for latkes, gelt, and arroz con gandules, or whatever your family enjoys for the Holidays–I know our General Manager Jason makes homemade candy canes, for one!

Happy Holidays, from our big Bookstore family to yours!

Thanks again!

Russ and Nick, probably getting hungry
  Thanksgiving has rolled around again, and as always we were hard at work both delivering and eating turkey! This year we were happy to help give out turkeys again–it’s important for us to get moving before the holiday, when we’ll be crashed on the couch digesting.   Last year we talked a little bit about what we’re thankful for, so I polled my coworkers to see a little more about what’s on their list this year.   –Erika G. is thankful to have her sweet dog, Gus. Trust me when I say that ‘dog’ topped quite a few admin lists. The cat lovers did not come out to represent their faction.   –Kristen is thankful for New Kids on the Block and Ninja Turtles. Oddly enough, this didn’t top many lists. Have we taken NKOTB and Teenage Mutants for granted? Be sure to thank your favorite boy bands this year, including sewer-dwelling crime fighters.   –Laura is thankful for a plethora of things that she found it difficult to narrow down. However, she did list food more than once, so we definitely know who the true hero of her Thanksgiving is. Meanwhile, we’re thankful that Laura was able to return to our Admin team this year.   –Mary is thankful for having her family close by–especially since her brother makes great mashed potatoes.   –Matt is thankful for his son, and birds of prey. The second is just to spite me, though I have to admit his son is pretty alright.   –Aspa, looking back, was unable to tell us what she was thankful for because she was too busy being scandalized by the fact we all enjoy stuffing so much. I know she’s thankful for many things, but stuffing* is not one of them.   –Mike is thankful to have a partner in raising his daughters that he trusts so completely that he hadn’t even thought about it till I asked him, which means his wife probably deserves extra food this year. And presents.     –Jimmy is thankful for getting to go on an amazing vacation this year, traveling to Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand. You better believe we made him do a slideshow of photos–gorgeous! We’re thankful (and jealous) too!   –Jackie, my beloved work-soulmate, is thankful that she “carved out a life filled with love and special people, Hank is the Scooby to [her] Shaggy, and [she is] filled with more gratitude and less Jersey attitude”, which made me laugh so hard I had to include the full statement.   –Aaron is thankful for new sauces, which makes me feel bad for all the old sauces he’s pushed aside. Et tu, Brute?   –VJ and Jason, I believe, did answer this question, but were so overshadowed by the ongoing chaos of stuffing vs not-stuffing I literally cannot find their answers. I can only assume they both said they were thankful for stuffing.   As always, we have so much to be thankful for at this time of the year. All year I am thankful for friends and family, and for coworkers who work hard, laugh loads, and warn me just how sappy a ‘thankful’ post can get. I’m thankful for this company, and for the clients that make it possible. I’m thankful for the organizations we work with who do their best to make the world a better place. I’m thankful that even in times of disaster or tragedy when the world seems so overwhelming, you can always find a shining light or two to remind you to keep fighting for what is right.   For Thanksgiving? Oh, I’m definitely thankful for stuffing.   I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, fought through Black Friday, celebrated Small Business Saturday (thank you!), treated yo’ self for Cyber Monday, and are currently enjoying giving back for Giving Tuesday. I hope you all have something to be thankful for all year round, because once again, we’re thankful for you.     *Please note that Aspa insists that stuffing is called dressing, which is wrong. And even if it isn’t wrong, this is my article. Them’s the breaks, kid!  

What Moves You: March for Racial Justice

Another week, another cause that we fiercely believe in. This week in our What Moves You series, we are proud to announce our support for the March for Racial Justice. In our day and age, it is impossible to ignore the disparities in treatment of and justice for minorities in America. The rise of social media, accessible cameras, and widespread information gives a voice to people that past generations have tried, and sometimes failed, to ignore. Because when so many people are here wholeheartedly to speak up with this voice, we cannot be ignored any longer.   According to The March for Racial Justice’s website, M4RJ is a black and indigenous led multi-community movement united in our demands for racial equity and justice. This includes a reversal of unjust laws, policies, and practices that hasten inequality, dehumanize people of color, and maintain white supremacy. In the past few months, racial tensions have been volatile as both man-made and natural tragedies have destroyed lives. This march is to show solidarity and demand change.   To us, this is not a radical or controversial idea. Our nation was founded on the idea of equality while being built upon systematic inequality, and people have been working towards equality and justice ever since. Racial justice is a cause that everyone can and should support. So we stand with our brothers and sisters, and, like we have for decades, we march.   Join us on Saturday, September 30th in Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill. If you are unable to march, due to distance, disability, or in observance of Yom Kippur, there are still ways to support this cause, as The March for Racial Justice continues to support your human rights as well. Check out the links below to learn, donate, endorse, volunteer, and spread the word.  We hope to see you there.   DONATE — Watch the Generosity by Indiegogo campaign video and donate to the cause! http://bit.ly/DonateToM4RJ ENDORSE — Officially endorse the march and partner with March for Racial Justice! http://bit.ly/EndorseM4RJ REGISTER — Register for the march and join us on the 30th of September! www.m4rj.com VOLUNTEER — Interested in being more actively involved? Sign up here! http://bit.ly/VolunteerM4RJ   TWITTER: @M4RJNow INSTAGRAM: @M4RJNow FACEBOOK: @M4RJNow  

What Moves You: CureFest

This week in the What Moves You series, we’d like to focus on a an event near and dear to our hearts: CureFest. This weekend marks our 4th year working with CureFest, and we look forward to continue helping whenever we can.  
CureFest, 2015
Curefest began in 2011, which makes September 16th and 17th their 6th event. Their mission is to make childhood cancer research a national priority by bringing together the general public, the medical community, elected leaders, and those whose lives have been touched by childhood cancer.  By meeting in the National Mall and presenting both informational booths and activities, they create a family-friendly space where the childhood cancer community can be together and where the general public can learn about childhood cancer and support research. They even have entertainment and key speakers perform. Whether you’d like to march in their rally to the US Capitol, attend the candlelight vigil, see some live music (there’s even an auction for a Sabrina Carpenter meet and greet!), listen to some truly amazing people speak, or just check out and see just what the big deal is, we implore you to stop by this amazing event.  Whether you bring your family, friends, or just attend solo there is plenty to do and learn. Help CureFest raise the voice of children with cancer and try to find safer, less toxic treatments for them.   If you’d like more information on CureFest, please check out the links below!   https://www.curefestusa.org/ https://www.curefestusa.org/event-info/schedule-of-events/ https://www.curefestusa.org/volunteer/ https://www.curefestusa.org/event-info/registration-info/ @CurefestUSA on Facebook and Twitter We hope to see you there!    

What Moves You: Sal’s Shoes and Players International

  At Bookstore Movers, we firmly believe in supporting what moves you. Whether it’s working with conservation efforts, doing social work, volunteering or donating, there are so many ways to support a cause and make the world a little brighter. Last February, Bookstore Movers was proud to work with Sal’s Shoes for the first time. In coordination with the wonderful individuals at both Sal’s Shoes and PeacePlayers International, we packed, loaded, and shipped over 550 pairs of donated sneakers!   It’s hard to believe, but there are 300 million children in the world to whom shoes are a rarity.* Considering how quickly children grow out of shoes, it makes sense to keep these shoes in rotation and help out children in need. By sending shoes, you are making the world safer and more accessible to these kids, so they can go to school, learn a sport, and know that people are hoping to see them succeed in achieving their goals.   Working with Sal’s Shoes, we saw our donations make their way to Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through Goal Academy and Promo Jeune Basket, our new shoes became the prize of a large soccer competition.  Participants in winning teams each received a pair of shoes, and through scholarships, play, and team building, each player walked away from winter camp with something to treasure and remember.   In the coming years, we hope to keep supporting Sal’s Shoes, Goal Academy, and Promo Jeune Basket–especially as PJB builds their first international school.  We couldn’t be prouder of what these non-profit organizations have done to help communities around the world, and that we got to play a small part of it.
Every player in this photo received a pair of shoes!
What moves you? Let us know! If you’re curious about any of these non-profits, check out the links below and see if you’d like to help out, one step at a time!   https://www.salsshoes.com/our-story   http://www.goal.academy/   http://www.promojeunebasket.org/home   *Source: Sal’s Shoes

Giving Tuesday

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Giving Tuesday is not just a day, it’s a movement!   This global day of giving is being celebrated on November 29th, and was created to unite us in kicking off the charitable season and to get more engaged by donating time, money, a gift or just the power of your voice.  Interested but not sure where to start? You can search for ways to get involved on their main website or check out some of our favorite nonprofits that are always in need of support to keep doing the amazing work they do.
 
Serve Your City – This Capitol Hill based nonprofit creates essential learning opportunities for at-risk District of Columbia students through innovative programming such as alternative sports (swimming, rowing, tennis), art, financial literacy, after school tutoring and college preparation with the help of passionate volunteers, community organizations, and academic consultants.  There are many options to get involved or donate to this unique organization that is helping to change the outcomes of local youth who are most in need.
 
Rural Dog Rescue – This local rescue group is dedicated to saving the lives of dogs in shelters who are often overlooked and most at risk of being euthanized such as the hounds, the black dogs, the seniors and those with medical needs.  There are many donation options and RDR is always in need of volunteers who can foster and help with events. And of course if you are looking to adopt a new furry family member, this organization is a great place to start your search!
 
Capitol Hill Restoration Society – Founded 60 years ago to help preserve and protect the historic neighborhood’s architectural and residential character, it is now the largest civic association on Capitol Hill, and one of the largest in the District of Columbia. CHRS continues to play a key role in maintaining the integrity, history and appeal of the neighborhood which has been a diverse community for more than 200 years, and is always in need of volunteers to assist with their annual house tour fundraiser and other events, write for the newsletter and provide website support.
 

Welcome to the Hill!

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Thanksgiving is a time when many of us have a more heightened awareness of all we have to be grateful for, and prioritizing giving to others.  The Bookstore Movers family spreads generosity all year long by regularly donating time and resources to many, many great causes that benefit our local community (as I write this we have crews out delivering trucks full of turkeys that will go to deserving people and families for the upcoming holiday, and next week those same trucks will be making Christmas tree deliveries for a local school fundraiser).
So it is not surprising that November was the kick off month for our new Welcome Packet.  Thanks to the power of collaboration, all BSM clients moving onto the Hill (our original neighborhood stomping grounds, the home of Capitol Hill Books and where our roots run the deepest) will now be receiving a folder filled with materials and promotions from some of our favorite independent businesses and nonprofits here in the neighborhood.  So for customers new to the ‘hood, we’re providing a great kick off point for places to check out for local services, shops, classes and volunteer work.  As a small business, we are committed to supporting other small businesses and nonprofits, and it’s only fair that in the season of giving we share with new residents some of the many resources that make living on the Hill enjoyable and unique.  And for those of you not living on the Hill, it’s an open invitation to come visit our quirky village, and also to make similar commitments and collaboration efforts wherever you do call home.

Book Drive to Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy!

When disaster strikes, be it tsunami, earthquake, or hurricane, we all have the desire to help. However, I think that for most of us that desire remains an inchoate and inactive thing. We sigh and are thankful we avoided such catastrophe and we wish the victims well, but not too many of us actually do something. Antonio Vasquez is one of those exceptional few that sees the suffering of our fellow citizens, decides to do something about it and then puts a plan into action. He called me up not long after Superstorm Sandy with a tremendous and ambitious idea: An Eagle Scout Project to collect books in the DC region to benefit libraries in New Jersey that had been devastated by the storm. We immediately agreed to help. Not only would be be able to be of service to those in need, but we would be able to provide succor in the form of books! Books are the reason this humble company got going in the first place. We revere books and the chance to deliver some to beleaguered libraries seemed almost like a sacred mission. Far more important than my musings are the locations where you can drop off books: -Colvin Run Elementary (Vienna) -Longfellow Middle School (McLean) -McLean High School (McLean) -St. Mark Catholic Church (Vienna) -8401/8405 Greensboro Drive (McLean) -Victoria Station Salon (Vienna) We’ll be taking the books up to New Jersey on February 15th and would deeply appreciate any support you can give to Antonio in his efforts to help our neighbors up north.

From N Street Village to Miriam’s House

From N Street Village to Miriam’s House By Amanda Clark Bookstore Movers recently had the privilege to help N Street Village deliver five mattresses from its central location to Miriam’s House, a residential community in northwest Washington D.C. specifically for homeless women living with HIV and AIDS. Founded in 1972 by members of Luther Place Memorial Church, N Street Village is a community-based non-profit organization in the Logan Circle neighborhood. N Street Village began as a way to provide services and advocacy to the growing female homeless population in Washington D.C. The organization now serves over 900 women per year, helping them achieve personal stability and enabling life-changing gains in their housing, income, employment, mental health, physical health, and addiction recovery. The organization has received extensive national and international recognition and given tours of its facilities to White House officials, Department of Housing and Urban Development officials, the Dalai Lama and visiting Kenyan dignitaries. N Street Village is expanding and in November 2011 Miriam’s House was incorporated into its programs and services. The incorporation of Miriam’s House allows N Street Village to provide high quality housing and support to twenty women at a time. The staff of N Street Village contacted us here at Bookstore Movers to inquire about moving five mattresses to Miriam’s House. We gladly said yes and offered our services pro bono. Successfully scheduling and planning the move, as well as accompanying our movers, John and Patrick, was one of the most exciting and satisfying projects I have accomplished in my time at Bookstore Movers. Moving the mattresses was a small but important project. It was great to hear that the women at Miriam’s House “would sleep well tonight” as a result of our efforts. In this case, it really does take a village and we are happy to contribute to N Street Village however we can. And what was John and Pat’s favorite part of the move? “The hugs!” How else can the Bookstore Movers community help? In addition to volunteering and financial support, N Street Village accepts fully functioning, gently-used and new items. Due to limited storage space, they can only accept items that are currently needed and all donations are accepted by appointment only, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They do accept used clothing when they have available storage space and oftentimes their greatest needs for clothing are plus sizes. They also accept smaller household items when needed, but do not accept large furniture pieces. Please check their wish list to find their most pressing needs: http://www.nstreetvillage.org/donate/in-kind/ As you are cleaning up and clearing out in preparation for a move, you can contact their In-Kind Gifts Office to schedule a drop-off time or for additional donation assistance at 202-939-2050. They are unable to pick up donations.