Face Behind the Books: Ginny Schmult
Ginny Schmult is a no-nonsense person with a passion for reading. A seasoned volunteer with Books to Benefit and former Adult Basic Education (ABE) volunteer tutor for STAR Adult Literacy, Ginny is an avid reader.
Now retired, Ginny formerly worked as an attorney/editor reading appellate court opinions for grammatical editing prior to publication.
“I was paid to read. It doesn’t get any better than that,” smiled Ginny. “One thing has changed in retirement. I spent my career reading what other people wanted me to read. Now I read what I want.”
Why Did Ginny Join Books to Benefit?
As one of the original volunteers, Ginny helped shape the organization into the success it is today. Recruited by founding members Stephanie and Bryan Fulton, there was no question that the mission was a nice fit for her passion.
“Books…how could you not read books?” Ginny enthusiastically commented. “When I first joined I was sucked into the children’s book section. I soon realized I couldn’t look at all those piles and not organize them.”
Books to Benefit was formed to fill a hole created when the Friends of the Bloomington Public Library stopped their annual books sales. Once Books to Benefit achieved its independent 501(C)3 status, the original board sought local organizations to be the recipients of the proceeds from the book sales. Ginny’s innate ability to organize helped Books to Benefit align its passion for books with a community need to support literacy.
As a 15-year volunteer with STAR Adult Literacy, she re-established contact with former STAR Volunteer Coordinator Char to see if there was an opportunity for a strategic partnership. Char, who was retiring the next day, introduced the organization to Literacy Coordinator Sheila Diaz. The rest is history.
Thanks to that initial vision, Books to Benefit established a strategic partnership to donate the proceeds from each book sale to benefit STAR Adult Literacy – a natural extension of the passion for reading.
In her tenure with Books to Benefit, not only did Ginny volunteer to organize the children’s books, she found a way to share her love for reading and support literacy.
With all the fun and adventure surrounding Halloween, she declares it her favorite holiday. Each Halloween Ginny purchases a stack of children’s books, half with non-scary Halloween themes and the rest non-fiction and history books.
“During trick-or-treat, I let each child choose one book from the collection along with a piece of candy,” Ginny shared. “In all the years I have been doing this, only 2 children ever turned down my book offer. And, the parents naturally love the idea!”
One Halloween she had a trick-or-treater who was very thoughtful and deliberate about which book he chose, eventually settling on an adventure story. “When he turned to leave he held the book in the way most kids hold their candy,” Ginny remarked. “He turned to me and said, ‘Thank you so much for the book,’ clutching it tightly.” Ginny knew that book found a good home.
Ginny loves a good mystery although her favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien.
Works by Canadian author Louise Penny, a former journalist and radio host with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, are among her favorites. “Bury Your Dead is especially well written,” added Ginny.
What Are Ginny’s Interests?
Creating order out of chaos is something Ginny does well. When asked what she does for fun, Ginny responded, “Reading, of course. I also enjoy quilting, hiking and landscape gardening.”
Books to Benefit is a place where volunteers come together. Volunteers like Ginny leave an indelible mark. Ginny volunteers and serves as a goodwill ambassador for the organization, a dedicated believer in the mission and loyal supporter of the book sales.