8
WednesdayAugust 2012

Best Buy! It’s a national chain. You probably know it as a great place to buy electronics.

(We know it that way as well. We also know it as a sponsor of this spring’s movie event, The Five-Year Engagement, and of our recent Storymakers Dinner.)

But, as with all national chains, Best Buy has a local presence and a distinct local flavor. (For instance, we here in Ann Arbor know our Best Buy location as the one with possibly THE most confusing parking lot set-up in town.)

More than parking lots, though, Best Buy’s local flavor comes in the form — as ever — of the people who work there. We have been fortunate enough to know Amanda Taylor, longtime 826michigan volunteer and, until recently, Best Buy Ann Arbor’s Community Outreach Coordinator. (She recently left her position at Best Buy to focus on her schoolwork — she’s entering the second year of a Master’s program in psychology. Go go Amanda!)

As we recognize Best Buy as August’s Supporter of the Month, we asked Amanda to tell us a bit about her time at Best Buy and the connections she sees between her work there and the volunteering she has done with 826michigan. Her enthusiasm absolutely LEAPS off the screen, which only demonstrates why we feel so fortunate to have Amanda in our volunteer corps.

How did you become involved with Best Buy and with 826michigan? What, in your opinion, links these two organizations?

One of great things about Best Buy is its commitment to connecting people throughout the world through the use of technology. The company not only implements this on a global scale, but also encourages each store to enhance its own community by integrating technology in a meaningful way, specific to the particular community in which it operates. Hence, my connection with 826!

I got involved with 826michigan about 3 years ago when my roommate and best pal, Frances Martin, got involved as the Americorps In Schoosls Coordinator. I stayed involved as much as possible independent of Best Buy, but when I took over the Community Outreach Coordinator position and learned of Best Buy’s past affiliation with 826, I eagerly took the opportunity to link the two organizations once more! I was very excited for the opportunity to take advantage of the programs that Best Buy implements to support its employees who want to give back to the communities in which they live.

Can you share a favorite memory of volunteering with 826michigan?

While I have many fond memories of volunteering at both Adams Elementary and Ypsilanti Middle School, I really enjoyed working with Collin H. on his piece for What to Call The Place I Call Home. Not only Is Collin wildly imaginative and forward thinking, but he has a ‘beyond his years” grasp on reality that left quite an impression on me.

What is your favorite non-826michigan, non-Best Buy part of life in this community?

My favorite thing about living in Ann Arbor is the emphasis on continual learning, in all spheres of life. It seems like no matter where you look, people are striving for betterment through education – and not just of the classroom variety – which is really powerful to me.

We completely agree, Amanda! Thank you for your contributions to this wonderful aspect of life in our town, and for your work in connecting 826michigan to Best Buy Ann Arbor. You are the best kind of local flavor!

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