Second Friday of December!

December 14, 2007 | 826 Blog Post

As you know, every Friday this month we are highlighting two things from the last year that we’re really excited about. Ready? Let’s go!


Sometimes, when we think about our tutoring program, we get all misty-eyed. It’s hard not to. The idea of creative, intelligent adults donating their time to spend quality one-on-one time mentoring creative, intelligent young people is mist inducing, is it not?

Tutoring has really grown in the last two years, from five tutors sitting in a quiet room staring at their hands to upwards of forty people working on homework, discussing literature, and just enjoying one another’s company. It has been wonderful to watch both tutors and tutees grow and change and explore together this fall.

And, not only is it educational, it’s fun too. Yesterday, I worked with Dorothea Bamfo, whose brothers and sisters have been coming to tutoring and workshops pretty much since the beginning. Dorothea is in high school, and I must tell you: spending an hour and a half talking with an incredibly perceptive teenager about Ghana, Catcher in the Rye, poverty, Gandhi, Shakespeare, West Side Story, innocence, crappy first drafts, and affecting change in our community is about the best way you can spend a Thursday afternoon. And our tutors and students do this every day! It’s amazing!

The tutoring lab, oh how it bubbles
with energy, ideas, and inspiration!


In the nonprofit realm, particularly in the arts, particularly in Michigan, it is sometimes difficult to stay afloat, as it were. With this in mind, we here at 826michigan have become prone to finding creative ways to make money.

Do you like “case in point” back-ups for statements like that? If you do, this is for you!

Case in point: Mustache-a-Thon.

What’s a really hilarious way to raise money, meet people, and force your friends to look goofy, all at the same time? Tell them to grow mustaches, for charity! Nothing says “Free Tutoring!” more than a twenty-five-year-old man nursing that first week of stache. Last March, our Mustache-a-Thon brought together about twenty new and old volunteers for weekly check-ins at Arbor Brewing Co., and oh, how the checks came in, too!

Boy-oh-boy, do we miss this one.
Former volunteer and current Bostonian
Josh Fischel celebrates receiving the
coveted Mightiest Stache Award in week three.
His excitement is almost, well, scary, really.

Case in point: 24-Hour Theater.

Twenty-four hours, thirty volunteers, seven million pots of coffee. Our 24-Hour Theater event brought together thespians, writers, set designers, and more spanning an age range from fifteen to fifty. Did we pull it off? YES. Was a good time had by all? YES. Should you be sad if you missed it? YES. Will you get another chance when we do it again? YES.

Four-sixths of our magnicent 826players. Haley, Kaisa,
Susan, and Christine (not pictured but definitely worth
mentioning: Ruby and Lauren) participated in our
five-week Comedic Playwriting Master Class.

Case in point/shameless plug: Mittenfest.

Last year, tons of people came out to the Corner Brewery for our first Mittenfest. It was a wonderful day of incredible local music, hanging out with friends, holiday lights, warm sweaters, and cold mugs of beer. It was, in fact, so successful, that this year we are having a two day, three venue extravaganza with some of the best musicians around.

Which leads us nicely into: do you have plans for next weekend? Mittenfest II happens Friday and Saturday. You can find out all about it here.

Frontier Ruckus amazed everyone at last year’s Mittenfest.
Catch them Saturday, 12/22, at the Corner Brewery for Mittenfest II, Episode II.

Do we have creative fundraising ideas for 2008? Are you joking? By which we mean to say: yes, of course! Stay tuned!

How about one good teaser leading to another? Early next week, we will post what might be our favorite picture from all year. It’s so good it looks fake; making it even better is the fact that it’s not.

Related Posts