GoFundMe Update!

Hello readers!

Oof, it’s been a hot minute since we updated this, hasn’t it? Summer is rolling along, the store is once again open for limited browsing, and we are hanging in there! Thanks to you and your ongoing support, we’ve managed to keep our lights on, our bills paid, and our employees…er, employed. We genuinely couldn’t have done it without you!

There’s been a lot going on in the country since our last update. The Black Lives Matter protests in Minneapolis sparked nationwide support that is still ongoing. Covid-19 is still raging along, and Governor Polis has issued a state-wide mask requirement. JK Rowling continued to hurt people with her comments on trans people, particularly the queer community. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power premiered its final season on Netflix to an epically satisfying conclusion. (Okay, that last one isn’t nearly as important as the other ones, but we could all use a little levity nowadays.) We’ve had some smaller upheavals and victories, too; the store is back to browsing, deliveries and curbside have entrenched themselves as the norm, and we’re getting better at virtual events. Suffice it to say, these last few months have been a little insane, in good ways and in stressful ones, and some things–the GoFundMe included–were left to take care of themselves.

Here’s the thing: there are so many places that deserve your donations more than we do right now. Any Black Lives Matter fund, all the bail funds (except Washington, DC! DC doesn’t have bail, so any DC bail funds are scams!), queer organizations that help trans people, Black-owned bookstores… There are so many places where your donations can do so much good. So we’ve been a little quiet on the GoFundMe front. We’ve still been getting some donations trickling in, and we cannot thank you enough. But we wanted to put it on pause this last month while there were other causes that needed you.

That’s not to say that those causes have suddenly disappeared. They haven’t. And they still need you. They still need whatever you can spare. And we’re doing okay now. As mentioned, we’re back to limited browsing, with only five people in the store at a time and masks required, and that’s helped. Your many, many web orders are still an overwhelming relief and joy each day. We had government PPP aid, and that was a help in May and early June. But we’re looking ahead. And we know that no one wants to hear it, but if the numbers of this pandemic continue their current trend, we are almost certain there will have to be another lockdown. And we’re bracing for that.

Maybe we’re wrong. We hope we’re wrong. We hope that we can carry on through the rest of summer and fall and continue getting better. But in the event that we don’t, we’re going to need to store up some savings to prepare. We’re going to need to fill out our emergency funds for those horrible just-in-cases. We are $6,450 away from our $25k goal. If we get there, we’ll have some insulation for the coming winter, as it were. If we get there, we have a better chance of being here next year.

So we’re asking once again for your help. Keep browsing (safely)! Keep ordering online! Keep getting books delivered, either by mail or by Elliot (and don’t forget to tip your driver on Venmo @ElliotVanZ)! Keep supporting your local bookstores in any way you can. And if you have a few bucks to spare, donate here so we can make it through any oncoming lean times.

We thank you, thank you, thank you for your ongoing support, your kind words, your lovely messages, the halves of your smiling faces we can see above your masks. You have kept us alive these past months, paid our bills, paid our employee’s rents and groceries, paid the publishers to keep printing books, paid the authors to keep writing them. You have kept the lights on in more than one heart and in this old firehouse. You have kept us in business and in sanity. And we cannot thank you enough.

–the Staff of OFB

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