Monday, October 3, 2011

good deeds ~ 826 national

where can a pirate find necessary supplies like designer peg-legs, planks for all manners of creatures to walk, and scurvy medication?  why the pirate store of course! yes you can find plenty of booty and more! like trustworthy pirate advice, a fish tank theatre {but please, do NOT judge the fish}, and dangers lurking behind trap doors.  you may think i'm joking about all of this, but i assure you, i am not.  for a small pirate girl from treasure island, this shop was my heaven!  {if you ever visited me in san francisco, i probably took you there with evil plans to get you mopped.  it even made an appearance in the great proposal treasure hunt of 2010!}

now you may be wondering what the pirate store has to do with doing good deeds {no, i'm not going to ask you to sponsor a pirate. although my imagination had a pretty fun time with that thought}.  the pirate store is actually just a front for 826 valencia, a non-profit dedicated to providing free writing workshops and classes to kids ages 6-18.  i know, so cool!  as a writer, former teacher, and lover of providing underprivileged kids with awesome opportunities, i am especially excited to share this pirate-themed shop with you.

826 valencia {named after its street address in san francisco} was started by a teacher and dave eggers {yes, that dave eggers} in the early 2000's.  they wanted to start a program where kids could gain a love of literature and have access to creative-minded adults who would help them grow as readers and writers.  the hilarious-themed shops became a fun way to promote their non-profit and fund all the good work they do.

 the pirate store was wildly successful, and soon other 826 shops opened all over the country, each with a different theme.  we actually just so happened to move in a few blocks from one in LA, the travel mart {dedicated to everything one would need for time travel}, which made us feel a littler closer to home.  other stores have opened in seattle, new york, chicago, ann arbor, boston, and washington d.c.  if you live near any of these cities, you must go check them out in person, you won't be sorry!  

826 does amazing work for kids all over the country, and since many of us in blogland
are writers, it's a cause i think we can all agree is extremely important.  

here are some ways you can help:
donate directly to 826 national online.
* volunteer in the writing labs of any of 826's locations.
* purchase hilarious books, t-shirts, posters, and helpful products for pirates, superheros, robots, etc.
* pre-order your she & him christmas album {yup, that counts! zooey deschanel & m. ward are two of the biggest supporters of 826, and they're donating portions of their christmas sales to the cause.}.

who doesn't want to hear she & him all christmas long?  and now you'll be helping
 underprivileged kids all over the country grow a love for writing.  win-win!!

{all photos & funnies were found at 826, with the exception of the she & him photo, 
which was found at she & him's place of interweb residence.}


  1. I've been such a huge fan and supporter of 826 for years now (I just love Dave Eggers). I have been wanting to volunteer at the LA location, but it's still too far for me :( But now, it's so good to know that ordering the She & Him Christmas album will support it too! Win-win! :)

  2. I have never heard of 826, but what a great cause! Will have to look into the NYC location--thanks :)

  3. never heard of it before but will check it out... you have to see the exhibit... it's $20 each but really worth it... just take your time to walk around and see what genius the man is!

  4. I've just been waiting to get to a city with a 826 national branch -- I really want to volunteer as a tutor. I certainly have the background and passion! Luckily there's one in DC. I just have to figure out where.

  5. You are always introducing me to new things that rock. She and Him Christmas music? Yea!!

  6. That store is such a cool idea! I'm curious about the other themes! Thanks for sharing, I had never heard of them.

  7. Oh my gosh! I think I've seen this store front! I didn't know what it was...This is soooooo cool!!

  8. This is such a fantastic idea. And I have been looking for an excuse to buy the She & him album...

  9. Dave Eggers is one of the most awesome movers & shakers of our generation. I'm blown away by all the good he does in the world (and literally, all over the world!). I've been super 826 involved over the past couple years since I've been working on the new Voice of Witness book (comes out later this month!) and am constantly impressed with everything they do. So glad you blogged about these fine folks!! :)

  10. How have I not heard of them? I would LOVE to volunteer. I am going to check out more about it...I wonder if anything similar exists around here.