Sunday, July 22, 2018

826LA: Changing Lives One Apostrophe at a Time

by J. La Mont (writer), , October 01, 2006


Chances are you haven’t heard of 826LA. Don’t worry you’re not alone. At least for now.

826 is a nonprofit started by Dave Eggers, founder of McSweeney’s and author of such works as A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and Giraffe? Giraffe!. What started out as an act of love in San Francisco has spread like a benevolent cancer across our nation to Seattle, New York, Chicago, Ann Arbor and our own fair City of Angels.

Its purpose is to support students aged 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to help teachers inspire their students to write. What this means is that volunteers do whatever it takes to ignite and foster a love of words including such basic things as drop-in tutoring to workshops bordering on the ridiculous and even publishing the student’s work in self-produced books. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

Unsurprisingly 826 have gotten rave reviews for its completely free services. Their first two publications had introductions written by Phil Jackson and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. A recent fundraiser, part of the Bookeaters Tour, featured such diverse acts as Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, Sarah Vowell, The Mountain Goats, Dave Eggers, Aimee Mann and was hosted by Andy Richter. There is no shortage of love but money and volunteers is another question.

If you have money that you can donate to a good cause then visit their website. If you have a love for children, art or words then visit their website. If you have children or are a teacher wanting to inspire your students then go to their website. See a theme? Find them online at or in Venice on the 2nd floor of the SPARC building located at 685 Venice Blvd. You’ll be glad you did.

About the Writer

J. La Mont is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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