Volunteer of the Month

Care to meet the elite team of supervolunteers whom we’ve honored over the years?

FridayJuly 2017

Tammy Nguyen

Tammy Nguyen, our July 2017 Volunteer of the Month, came to us by way of our northern neighbor, Canada.* After moving to Ann Arbor with her husband, Tammy was determined to become deeply engaged in the community and build a vibrant network. We have been one of the lucky recipients of her energy and charisma. Tammy is as sunny and bright as the month of July and she brings her zest, charm, thoughtfulness, and genuine enthusiasm to all she does.

Tammy began volunteering with us as a Liberty Street tutor during the winter of 2015. As a tutor, she is willing to jump in and help students even in subjects that she is unfamiliar with, helping them to develop creative strategies for tackling complex problems and multi-step projects. Tammy is also a fixture of our Family Writing Labs; at these events, we partner with area schools or community organizations in order to offer families a chance to engage in creative writing projects, share what they’ve written, and take home more ideas for doing writing together. She’s been participating for several years as we’ve worked to develop and hone the program, and has been integral to the improvements we’ve made. Tammy is always incredibly prepared, completely engaged, and then provides thoughtful feedback about the individual writing stations as well as overall structure of the evenings.

Tammy Nguyen

Speaking of Family Writing Labs, this summer we set the ambitious goal of running SEVEN Family Writing Labs in collaboration with some of our very favorite community partners. These events function best when we have a SLEW of volunteers—so consider making like Tammy and signing up to help with a few. Plus, you’ll get the chance to rub elbows with this superstar Volunteer of the Month! Rubbing elbows with Tammy is pretty awesome, because she has a very authentic way of engaging with others that makes you feel like you could be old friends the first time you meet her—the conversation and laughter just flow. We’re not alone in thinking this; Tammy has formed some very tight friendships with folks she’s met through her volunteerism at 826.

Another favorite things about Tammy? She’s also a volunteer for the Ann Arbor Humane Society and a serious animal lover. Once, she emailed to say that she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to come to a Family Writing Lab, because she was on call to help process a shipment of puppies and wasn’t sure when the van of puppies was going to arrive. Yes, you read that right; this gal truly is a bundle of sunshine and puppies. She even occasionally stops by Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair with the puppy that she adopted from Humane Society.

Tammy Nguyen and other great 826michigan volunteers. Tammy is on the far right.

This fall, Tammy will be starting a graduate program through University of Michigan’s School of Information. She will be focusing on Media Literacy and Information Management, and already has ideas about how she’ll incorporate volunteering with 826michigan into her studies and use her studies to support our organization! Tammy, we are so grateful to all that you bring to our organization and cannot wait to continue collaborating as you pursue your graduate studies!


*It’s been a year and a half since we’ve honoured a Canadian as our Volunteer of the Month (shout-out to Beth Fowler, VotM November 2015!), and we thought it was a-boat time we celebrated another.

ThursdayJune 2017

We are SO pleased to announce Bridget Gibbons as our June 2017 Volunteer of the Month! June is a month of culmination at 826michigan—so many projects are coming together into a fantastic grand finale for the end of the school year. This year is even more special as we are…

TuesdayMay 2017

A funny thing happened to Jean Leverich this week as she walked into 826michigan for the field trip: she started pondering the depths of Dr. Blotch’s complex psyche. She thought: Although Dr. Blotch often misplaces their diary during our Strange Mysteries! field trip, is there something else of equal or…

WednesdayApril 2017

There’s so much to love about the communities where we run our programs, and one of our favorite things is the partnerships we build with the academic institutions in these cities. This month we’re excited to celebrate the Academic Service Learning (ASL) students of Eastern Michigan University and the University…

ThursdayMarch 2017

In the organized chaos and logistical back-flips of a field trip, one of the most frantic aspects is the actual putting together of books written by the class. Checking of page order, orientation, not messing up the binding strip, unjamming the binding machine. But most importantly, letting students see the…

FridayFebruary 2017

When we think about what Rachel and Brad are able to do each week in our programs, with their powers combined, we simply couldn’t imagine splitting them apart — they are an incredible force for good in Washtenaw County and we couldn’t do what we do without them.

FridayJanuary 2017

A Jill of all trades with a degree in Psychology from Ohio State University, Ani has jumped into our first semester of programming from the Detroit Robot Factory with outstretched arms and legs, like those slow-motion videos of frogs jumping from tree limb to tree limb. She has worked with students at our Wee-Bots Writing Club at the Redford Library, Boggs School After-School Writing Club, and several field trips at the Detroit Robot Factory (wearing her hard hat of course).

ThursdayDecember 2016

If there was ever someone who embodied the concept of “whistle while you work” it is our December 2016 Volunteer of the Month Eric Anderson. Eric is a robotier, (the esteemed title reserved for our store volunteers), during the Friday evening shift at Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair. Not…

TuesdayNovember 2016

Every literary organization and periodical has a style guide that they use to make grammar and editorial decisions. For instance, here at 826michigan, our style guide is the Chicago Manual of Style, which we all feel very loyal to. However, for this month, we are going to temporarily declare our…

SaturdayOctober 2016

Do you ever have an enormous, looming project in front of you, the kind you can’t even believe you dreamed up, much less have plunged into? At moments, that’s what it’s felt like to be shepherding forward 826michigan’s plan to open our Detroit center. The plan was big. The plan…

Liberty Street Robot
Supply & Repair
115 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 761-3463
Detroit Robot Factory
1351 Winder
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 818-0255