Totem Books, an independent bookstore located in downtown Flint, MI, has announced a fundraising campaign called #fightfortotem in an effort to take control of its own destiny. Totem’s goal is to become less reliant on grants and other assistance programs that are far from a guarantee for small businesses in the midst of this financially devastating and dangerous pandemic. The campaign will continue through March 31, and the goal is to raise $30,000 upon its conclusion.
The Owner of Totem Books, Dean Yeotis has said, “We still here connecting with people interested in uniting together to benefit something larger than ourselves and our differences. To successfully emerge on the other side of this crisis we need your help. We are calling on our customers, supporters, members, and anyone else who wants to see our very experiential community space and awesome staff continue to serve the community of Flint and beyond.”
While this is a cry for help, Totem is fighting. Totem Books is a survivor, and they will survive this. Having opened the store in the midst of the Flint Water Crisis, they have faced adversity before, and they plan on overcoming as they always have. It is currently estimated that more than 20% of our country’s independent book stores will not survive the next five months. Totem Books is fighting every day to avoid being one of them.
All donations are more than appreciated and will assist with building maintenance, technology upgrades, and most importantly paying employees, all of whom rely on the store as their primary source of income. According to Totem, the epicenter of their culture resides with their staff and they want to ensure they remain taken care of as they are also struggling at home with the unquantifiable effects this pandemic has had on their personal lives as well. They rely on the much-needed stability that can be found with reliable employment and Totem wants to continue to be able to provide that.
Donations can be made at gofundme.com/f/totem-books