During the early morning of 11-11-11, I took a fall in my bedroom and cracked the L1 vertebrae in my spine. This disaster unfortunately came during a time of being uninsured due to the fact I’ve been unemployed since Borders closed in September. While I’m definitely lucky I’m not paralyzed and not in any serious pain, there are of course physical discomforts I have to go through, and I have to wear a compression brace through February. The biggest problem that this has given me is getting the proper follow-up care. Living in Riverside County in California, being uninsured, and having to be at the county’s mercy does not come with good follow-up care. The county of Riverside was ineffective in being able to provide me with follow-up care. Follow-up care with any injury such as this one is obviously important, especially when you could require medication refills, and to make sure the injury is healing properly.
However, I was referred to the Borders Group Foundation given I’m a former Borders employee. The Borders Group Foundation existed through the company’s years of operation; the foundation was supported by voluntary deductions from the paychecks of employees who decided to give, and many people in the stores and at the corporate office supported the foundation through the years of operation. The foundation would cover travel expenses for those of us who lost family members if we needed to travel, helped employees who were going through financial hardships, or employees who suffered medical issues. The foundation definitely saved a lot of Borders employees during some very difficult times.When I heard that the foundation still existed and was referred to them, I put in for assistance and explained my situation being uninsured and injured. I explained I was having difficulty in attaining follow-up care, and they sent me the paperwork and helped me through the process. Today, I found out my paperwork was approved and I will start getting private follow-up care in 2 weeks. The foundation will be picking up the entire cost.
I know a lot of people who didn’t work for Borders were sad that we closed. A lot of authors that I knew also told me they were saddened and concerned about the closure of Borders and concerned for Borders employees. I’ve also had former Borders customers read this blog and send me e-mails telling me they were so sorry to hear that Borders closed, that they missed having a local Borders, and that it’s sad we have very few book stores around anymore. There was also a heartfelt video while we were going through liquidation on YouTube that Borders employees shared of a little boy crying about how he was going to miss Borders after the family made one last trip to their local Borders, and the mother thanked Borders “for all the years and memories.”
If any of us booksellers at Borders touched your lives, gave you a coupon when we weren’t supposed to and told you that it was because you were a good customer, came in frequently and got to know us, you appreciated our help in finding books you couldn't find or needed suggestions, we agreed to help carry your Christmas shopping goodies to your car, or you were one of those people who asked us the question while we liquidated of what we were going to do next, I ask that you please do one thing: make a contribution to the Borders Group Foundation on the website as the foundation now also accepts contributions from the public. We’re also reaching that time of the year of generous giving, and it can even be written off on your taxes.
There are a lot of us who were part of Borders that are going through hard times right now. Having the Borders Group Foundation around for us may save some lives, as it has mine. This is when I feel proud to have been part of Borders. I feel truly blessed and I want to publically thank the Borders Group Foundation for assisting me during these times. I'm also making my plea to my readers who may have been Borders customers, and the authors who were self-published or published by a publishing house that had events at Borders, to please consider giving a donation to the Borders Group Foundation.
You can learn more and make your donation at the Borders Group Foundation homepage by clicking HERE
Thank you, and best wishes to all of you during this holiday season. Unfortunately there's not a Borders to go to anymore during the holidays, but I hope you all will support your local book stores and the "other" book chain that still exists.
-Brian the Bookseller