The Twin Cities is regularly called out as one of the most geek- and nerd-friendly places in the country, and that is definitely meant as a compliment. Case in point: local news and culture website Twin Cities Geek recently launched their second annual Twin Cities Geek Holiday Toy & Book Drive
The publication is currently working with local businesses and organizations in and around the Twin Cities to collect donations. All new and gently used items donated will go to support the families served by the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, a nonprofit social service agency in the Summit-University area of St. Paul, and the Women’s Prison Book Project, a national effort based out of the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis that provides female and transgender inmates with free reading materials.
The drive launched on November 12, 2016, and although it is an entirely grassroots initiative, that does not mean it’s small. Donation boxes are being hosted by 30 local business and organizations who support and facilitate Minnesota’s diverse arts and geek communities, including comic-book stores, collectible stores, game stores, and more.
And in case you didn’t know, the local geek community is incredibly organized.
For instance, did you know there are over 25 sci-fi, fantasy, anime, horror, gaming, and comic conventions in Minnesota annually? And with all of the geek-owned-and-operated organizations and businesses that are running events and engaging the community every week of the year, that really is the tip of the iceberg. Geeks and nerds are a very significant subculture in the area, and like Spider-Man’s uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Hal Bichel, editor-in-chief of Twin Cities Geek, started the Toy and Book Drive last year when he heard the Hallie Q. Brown center was short gifts for teenagers.
“I called around and put together a drive in a couple days and got the message out to the Twin Cities Geek community,” says Bichel. “What really struck me is when I contacted many of these local small businesses and organizations—most of which are hosts to vibrant communities of their own—the majority of them said nobody had ever asked them to be part of a charity drive before, and they were really enthusiastic to participate. We are lucky to have so many awesome small business owners as the connective tissue in the Twin Cities Geek community.”
The Toy and Book Drive goes through December 15, 2016, so there is still time to donate. To see the list and map of participating businesses, please click here. And for more information on Twin Cities Geek, please visit http://twincitiesgeek.com.