Eyeseeme Childrens Bookstore: COVID-19 Help

When Pam & I opened Eyeseeme African American Children's Bookstore in 2015 the concept of a brick and mortar, black owned, independent bookstore, which featured multicultural children’s books, was unheard-of, especially in the age of Amazon. But our mission to make sure that ALL children can see themselves in the literature that they read, was too important to ignore. We would talk to parents & teachers about this deficiency and eventually we were compelled to step out in faith and open the doors of Eyeseeme. 




I am so glad that we followed our instinct because these past 5 years has proven to be very successful. We have grown year over year and have been able to reach and enhance the lives of more and more children. In fact, we expanded to a larger space last year where we significantly increased our inventory and instore programs, including tutoring, author visits and literacy programs. Moreover, we have built numerous community partnerships with schools and helped advocate nationally on the importance of diverse literature. For example, through a collaboration with A Red Circle & Maryville University we were able to provide free books to every student at Barack Obama Elementary School.  Additionally, working with Dreambuilders for Equity we are in the process of opening up a Family Cafe at the store. That had to be put on hold due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Now, in this new COVID-19 environment our store is closed to the public and we have had to cancel all our books fairs at local area schools. We are trying to adjust to a new "no gathering" world. We have adjusted to virtual ways to support families by providing online services, free delivery, curbside delivery, and activities like Online Story Time. We are also working with schools on book bundles for teachers and expanded our online bookstore.

Unfortunately, these efforts are not enough to sustain us. We have had to lay off staff. Our rent has become past due, and we fear we will not be able to restart business operations once the quarantine is over. We are constantly looking for and applying for Federal and Local loans and grants, but these alone will not ensure our short-term or long-term viability.

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We are reaching out to ask for your assistance to weather this storm and keep Eyeseeme a part of the St. Louis community. We are asking for your immediate financial support to help us sustain our location, bring back our staff, and prepare for our reopening once the quarantine is over. We are centrally located in University City and have been a place for community gatherings, the start of BooksNBros , host of numerous author visits, after school and summer tutoring, and many other community programs. We, our staff, and our families will appreciate any assistance you can give. #togetherwewin

Additional ways you can support:

Book Box Subscription  - We are encouraging parents to increase their home libraries. We have a monthly book box subscription program. https://www.eyeseeme.com/pages/book-subscription-program

School Bulk Orders  - Browse our Book Bundles and Class Sets to schools. Custom Sets Available Too!
https://www.eyeseeme.com/pages/book-bundles-classroom-sets

Thank you so much for the privilege of being a part of this community.  With your support we hope to continue to be a valued resource throughout this health emergency and for many years to come.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey & Pamela Blair
Owners

Donations

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  • Robert Cradle 
    • $20 
    • 6 d
  • Megan McNiven 
    • $20 
    • 10 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 13 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 14 d
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Jeffrey Blair 
Organizer
Raised $210 from 5 donations
Saint Louis, MO
Naomi Blair 
Team member
Raised $21 from 1 donation

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