Volunteer of the Month

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

ThursdayDecember 2016

Eric Anderson

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 only does Eric often actually whistle while he oversees the store, but the general ethos he brings is one of good-natured, hard-working, upbeat positivity. He comes in (very often dressed in crisp maize and blue office attire to show support for his favorite football team), turns on some Van Morrison, and gets to work tidying the store, greeting customers warmly, and helping with any number of tasks that we have ready for him. And we can’t forget the occasional bursts of whistling, which has this infectious quality that puts everyone within earshot into a good mood.

Eric AndersonEric is an amazing ambassador for 826michigan. When he gives “the spiel” to folks who wander in about what 826michigan is and why we have the store, it is the most genuine and compelling introduction to our organization imaginable. Some staffers (ahem, this writer) even experience a mix of awe and envy when overhearing how natural he is conveying our story and connecting with customers. Beyond excelling at his robotier duties, Eric is always up for assembling chapbooks, putting folders together, or doing any number of odd jobs we leave him with on Friday evenings. And—–get this–—every evening as he closes up the store he wheels out our clunky vacuum and proceeds to clean our entire store. Does he ever complain that the robot shop doesn’t task this job to a Roomba? Of course not—–he just whistles as he works.

One last anecdote to help illustrate why we are so darn charmed by Eric Anderson: his Facebook cover photo is of three different vintage editions of Strunk and White’s The Elements
of Style. Yes, I know, it is almost too delightful to bear.
Struck and White, the Elements of Style
Eric has been a robotier since May of 2015, and the whole while we have admired his work ethic, but we’ve decided to highlight him in December 2016 for a big reason.
This month our attention has been honed in on the retail portion of our operation. December is undoubtedly our busiest and best sales month of the year. We extend our hours so we can be open on Sundays, we stock our store to overflowing, and we make sure that we’ve got all bot and human gift-giving needs covered. We also get to do fun things like dress as robots and sing robotic versions of holiday carols outside LSRS&R to lure in holiday shoppers. And, drumroll . . .  this year is ESPECIALLY momentous, because we are opening our second retail front, the Detroit Robot Factory.* We felt it was appropriate to highlight Eric and all of our incredible, hardworking robotiers as they kick into overdrive to make our holiday season possible.
Eric Anderson

Am I above putting in a plug for more of you to sign on to help in the store? Of course not! But you’re more than welcome to consider becoming a fully programmed robotier and taking on a store shift at either of our fabulous retail fronts! Email Retail Manager Tom Bianchi at Tom@826michigan for details.

If we had a magic wand, we would have thanked Eric by granting him a UM win against their unnamed rivals to the south. But since our theme is robots and not magic, we hope that you all will join us in giving him the heartiest and most heartfelt* BEEP, BEEP, HURRAH. Eric, we are so incredibly grateful for all you do!

*Of course you’re invited to the grand opening AND of course we cannot wait for you to see it!

**Emotion upgrades available at LSRS&R and DRF


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…

ThursdaySeptember 2016

Sometimes 826michigan feels like a magical place and it is tempting to chalk the amazing transformations that happen here up to an intangible, indefinable “magic.” The truth is that we DO know what makes magic real at 826michigan, and that is human connection (no offense, bots). This connection is made…

MondayAugust 2016

Imagine a person with superhuman skills in an astounding array of fields, a person with an enormous heart, an ever-attuned and immensely strategic brain, and a deep well of generosity. What if this extraordinary human was a parent of two intelligent and hard-working 826michigan students? And what if she chose…

FridayJuly 2016

A short detour here to set the stage for our July 2016 Volunteer of the Month, Cintia Huitzil, 826michigan MSW intern and Ph.D. candidate at the UM School of Social Work: Every year the 826 chapters from around the country get together for a staff development conference. As part of…

FridayJune 2016

How could we possibly pick just ONE volunteer of the month when showcasing our Young Author’s Book Project? WE CAN’T! All five of these people were so critical to the first ever Young Author’s Book Project in Detroit that they all deserve this honor. And don’t all of the best…

SundayMay 2016

  For the past school year, Kira Dallaire has taken on one of the longest and most-demanding internships we have: in-school intern. She was up to the challenge. No matter how many projects we throw at her, she catches and champions them in stride and style. Kira is a resident…

FridayApril 2016

For the past year, magical Claire Stano has created a wondrous space in our writing lab on Wednesday evenings for our 6-8 year old writers. Each week, Claire thoughtfully selects a children’s book to read during a Wee-Bots Drop-in Writing session and builds a lesson plan around the story. Claire…

MondayFebruary 2016

Cool, Creative Carman “I cannot believe my eyes!” -Jason, tutoring student, upon seeing the pencil cups that Carman (VotM March ‘16) sorted and filled with sharpened, eraser-ed pencils. -How we feel every time March 2016 Volunteer of the Month Carman Judd is helping with a project or program When Carman…

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