Books for a Cause

My relationship with social enterprises started with a school trip to Cambodia a little over a year ago. Since then, I’ve actively sought out good causes and ways to support them. If I’m buying a book or getting a cup of coffee, two beloved activities, I might as well do some good in the process! That’s why I headed to Housing Works Bookstore Cafe – used books, coffee, and a good cause. I loved it even before I opened the door.

According to their website,

Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.

Housing Works has been around since 1990 and opened their first thrift stores as social enterprises in 1995. They provide housing, healthcare, job training, and legal aid to homeless and low-income New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS and provide education and advocacy on these issues.

I added my contact information to the sign-up list for volunteers, so maybe something will come of that!

I have three books still on hold at the library and have been hoping they’d come in before we leave on our trip to Israel so I could take one with me because my Kindle has been misbehaving. As much as I love my Kindle and most forms for technology, real books don’t break. You open them and read. Simple. My library holds are still on hold, however, so I was forced to buy two books at Housing Works. Poor me. I started both of them while sitting in the café. Born to Be Good by Dacher Keltner will be coming with me to Israel but Christopher Hitchens’ The Portable Atheist is staying home. It just seems wrong to flaunt my personal exploration on a faith-based institution’s religious trip to the Holy Land.

Because of the trip, I’ll be on a blogging hiatus for the next two and some weeks. (And I clearly felt the need to make up for that in advance by publishing three posts in three days.) Expect an explosion of photos when I’m back! In the meantime, I invite you to go find a good cause. And read a book or two. If you need somewhere to start, here are some suggestions. Happy reading!

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