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Save The Book Cottage

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The Jackson community has proven its commitment to improving the community for families, friends, small businesses, and the economy. We've witnessed community members band together in times of crisis, disaster, loss, and injustice. Further, the community has moved mountains, creating literal miracles repeatedly in the face of a pandemic, natural disasters, crime, and more. A business many of us have come to know and love, the Book Cottage, recently announced it must shut its doors for good. But, while abandoned buildings and 'permanently closed' signs on small and local businesses have seemingly become the norm, there is still hope for a Christmas miracle. So, please help us save this beloved business so they might be able to keep providing this community with the value it always has. The Book Cottage was hit as hard as anyone during Covid. Owners Mark and Nancy Oakley suffered heart-breaking losses and financial hardship during this time, as they were forced to close temporarily. When they did re-open, business was different due to mandates placed on the state during that time. Additionally, the Book Cottage was forced to move twice in the last two years, causing even more hardship. Due to the abundance of unforeseen circumstances, the Oakleys have no more financial cushion. The Oakleys have seen a substantial plummet in how often customers visit the store and how much they spend when they do come. While they understand the economy's plight, affecting everyone from top to bottom, they need to make money to keep their doors open. However, the Book Cottage is an asset to this community, apart from the abundant selection of new and used books and unique treasures they sell. The Oakleys love being a part of the community, which is evident in how they immerse themselves in giving back, paying it forward, and creating space for creativity, learning, and fun. Examples include an annual fundraiser for the Jackson County Animal Shelter, a yearly fundraiser for the Priceless Gift Toy Store, and the donation of thousands of books throughout the summer and during reading month to Jackson's youth. Additionally, the Oakleys have programs that support new teachers and school libraries and donate hundreds of books to local nonprofits. And, of course, we can't forget about their infamous annual Harry Potter Party, craft fairs, flea markets, holiday open houses, and kids' craft days. You'll find Mark and Nancy manning the bookstore when they aren't contributing their time and resources. Their knowledge of books is expansive, and they are always ready to suggest reading materials for any age, genre preference, and reading level. In addition, they genuinely get to know their customers and, in turn, get to know their likes and dislikes making the shopping experience at the Book Cottage uniquely personal. Finally, they'll hunt it down if they don't already have a specific title in their enormous book collection. Over the last nine and a half years, the Book Cottage has become a community staple. In the absence of big-box bookstores nearby, options for book lovers and avid readers are limited. But even if we had Schuler's books or Barnes & Noble nearby, they wouldn't light a candle to the Book Cottage. The Oakleys serve everyone from introverts and misfits to the outgoing, over-the-top personality. For many, the Book Cottage is a weekly social outing and a safe place to get lost among the bookshelves or for quiet conversation. For others, it's the go-to stop for gifts and unique treasures. Every dollar counts toward saving the Book Cottage! Maybe you've never stepped foot through their doors; perhaps you aren't an avid reader - that's ok! Chances are, someone you know and love is a reader and loves books. But, on the other hand, perhaps your donation isn't for you but for your grandkids who are learning to read or your friend who can't devour books fast enough. Or, you may be in a place right now where you can donate, no matter how small of a donation, to save a cherished local business that belongs to an extraordinary couple who have given back to this community since the beginning. So, help us give back to the Oakleys and the Book Cottage and show them that we can make miracles happen again.

Fundraising team: Team fundraiser (3)

Justin Fairchild
Jackson, MI
Mark Oakley
Team member
Christine MacIntyre
Team member

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