Sunday, April 3, 2011

826 national

Yarrr! I just got home from a trip to the seacoast and now I am fresh out of mermaid repellant. I should have picked some up from 826 Valencia! Oh well. Next time. Ooh, and I also need to remember to get a replacement pegleg for the one I left on the plane. I should just order one of those online, save me the trouble of having to hobble out to the store to get one.

826 Valencia is part of 826 National, a network of nine nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping students, ages 6-18, with expository and creative writing. Their mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. Each chapter offers after-school tutoring, field trips, workshops, and in-schools programs — all free of charge — for children, classes, and schools with particular interests or particular needs.

So that is all very cool, right? But what I think makes 826 National incredibly unique and one of my fave new organizations is that each location offers these really awesome and unique retail experiences. To raise funds, inspire creativity, and advertise their programs to the local community, most of their centers include a different, totally crazy street-front retail store. For example, for our friends in San Francisco, be sure to stop by the Pirate Supply Store for all your glass eye and one-of-a-kind pegleg needs.

Seattle’s Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company sells all your space commuting accouterment. 826michigan's Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair Shop specializes in must-have mechanical conveniences. 826LA features a time travel store. There definitely is not a secret agent supply store in Chicago. (Btw, if you have a free moment and just want to have some fun, check out the Chicago store's website: And be sure to check out The Bigfoot Research Institute in Boston and the The Museum of Unnatural History in Washington D.C. when visiting these fine cities. I'm definitely going to have to swing by 826NYC’s Superhero Supply Company in Brooklyn to get custom-fitted for a new cape one of these days.

If you don't live near nor have any plans to visit any of these cities in the near future, there are still ways you can help 826 National. You can buy products like books, posters, and CD's directly from 826 National for which proceeds go toward their writing programs. Or you can make a donation and help them fund their awesome work.

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