There’s nothing Booked Parties loves more than supporting the creative, energetic spirit of entrepreneurs. Recently, we are finding inspiration by setting our sights a bit lower…literally. A new crop of entrepreneurs is on the rise, but you won’t find them running their businesses between the hours of 9am to 3pm when school is in session. Gone are the days of paper boys and lemonade stands. Today’s young business owners are savvy beyond belief, successfully identifying niche business models and leveraging the power of social media in a manner that’s so natural to them, it’s staggering to us grown-ups. The children are clearly ready to lead the future.
Five-year-old Lanie Feig has always loved reading, but recently she learned that not every story has a fairytale ending. Each year, the kindergarteners at Lanie’s school are assigned a third-grade reading buddy. Lanie requested to be matched with Scarlett, a bright and imaginative third-grader whose love of reading rivaled her own. The girls quickly bonded and formed a friendship grounded in the stories they got lost in together. What Lanie didn’t realize, however, was that throughout this time, Scarlett was battling cancer, a battle she lost on March 27, 2019.
To honor her friend, Lanie, guided by her parents, decided to host a bookmark-making event at Scattered Books, the local bookstore, raising money for Make-A-Wish of Hudson Valley, Ronald McDonald House and the SPCA of Westchester. The event was a success and the Feigs were motivated to build upon the program and launched Bookmark Buddies to empower children to make a difference through creativity and community. The organization creates bookmark kits that children around the country can use to host their own events benefitting the organizations of their choosing. Though this story is a sad one, Lanie is writing the next chapter with positivity, love and remembrance.
We sat down with this young philanthropist to learn more.
Why is Bookmark Buddies important to you?It’s important because it’s empowering children that aren’t old enough to do real things. They just need to decorate a bookmark and they’re helping people and animals. Kids are learning that they can help people and make a difference in the world.
How do you promote your events and the Bookmark Buddies kit?We use our website – mommy is also saying that we use Facebook!
Which bookmark was your favorite?
Can I only pick one?? I love the bookmarks I made with an umbrella, a unicorn and a ballerina. That’s three.
What has the response been from your friends and the community?
They were surprised!
How did you select your three partner charities?
They are in honor of Scarlett and things she loved like animals.What have you learned through beginning a philanthropy?
That it can be fun and not easy!
Since a love of reading is what spurred this organization, can you tell us what your favorite books are?
My favorites are “More Pies!” (by Robert Munsch), “Get Out of Bed” (by Robert Munsch), “My Brother Dan’s Delicious” (by Steven L. Layne), “Tales of Sasha” (by Alexa Pearl and Paco Sordo) and “Owl Diaries” (by Rebecca Elliott).
What advice can you give other kids looking to become “Mini Movers & Shakers”?
Umm… to have inspiration, have fun and make beautiful bookmarks!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
An author and an illustrator.
Photographs provided by Bookmark Buddies
Shauna Levy is a writer, communications professional and a stay-at-home mom. Her interests include flaunting her discount shopping finds, cooking food her children reject and restoring her 125-year old home. She is currently raising three boys, ages 9, 6 and 5 alongside her husband in Chappaqua, NY.