One of the great joys of being involved with a project like MagazineLiteracy.org, because it is an ongoing, national, magazine industry-wide literacy campaign for children and families, is that it puts you on the leading edge of new phenomena. You can energize and drive fresh consumer behavior and trends. It’s both an opportunity and responsibility.
MagazineLiteracy.org launched the KinderHarvest program to collect recent copies of gently used magazines from consumers that are recycled to children and families – new readers in homeless and domestic violence shelters and other community programs. Hundreds of copies of magazines are collected each week in wooden harvest bins and in other ways in cities across the U.S., with efforts getting started from Boston to San Francisco and from Chicago to Dallas.
Those who love magazines, as I do, know that it is not uncommon to have collections of favorite titles that span many years. Whether it’s scouring Ebay for every issue of Wooden Boat magazine or adding to your collection each month every issue of Oprah magazine Martha Stewart Living, we have a love affair with our magazines. During the past couple of years, the Magazine Publishers of America, a steady partner and friend of our work, has celebrated this affinity with a marketing campaign that focuses on the powerful forces that “engage” magazine readers.
With KinderHarvest, we are noticing a phenomenon that builds on the tremendous personal value we place on our magazines – entire collections of magazine titles that span many years are showing up in our recycling bins at Starbucks and other locations. Consumers who could not bear to toss their periodical collections are willing to share them with others. This is a most precious act of kindness that further demonstrates the great value of the recycling channel that we have set up to connect communities of readers. The following note that I received today from a volunteer in Dallas underscores this wonderful trend:
Please let me know of any way I could help you in this project. I… have, many, many, MANY, magazines laying around the house.( Can’t throw ’em away…)
If you love your magazines, set them free, so others may learn and love to read them!