November marks the beginning of the season of giving, and Detroit’s own financial guru Gail Perry-Mason knows how to start a movement and give back to her community in droves. She started the I Am 4Ever39 book club as a unique alternative for middle-aged women to get together on a regular basis and get involved while giving back to their communities.
Perry-Mason held the book club’s first-ever She Shed-She Gives fundraising event on Nov. 20, 2019, and invited members of her book club to donate luggage filled with inspirational quotes and necessary essential items, such as toiletries, to several youth organizations. Over 700 women showed up and showed out.
Rolling out spoke with Perry-Mason more about her unique book club and She Shed-She Gives fundraising event below.
What is the I Am 4Ever39 book club and how does it work?
The I Am 4Ever39 book club is a unique club that only reads numbers: credit scores, interest rates, net worth, blood pressure, alcohol content in wine, BMI [body mass index], and so forth. We also book appointments and reservations for trips, restaurants, hotels, spas, and other places of the like.
This new multicultural group is increasing its membership at a rapid pace as all of our events have been sold out and we have a waiting list of over 1,850 women wanting to become a part of the club.
I Am 4EVER39 was proud to be selected as influencers for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN TV and we also have partnerships with several Detroit wine vineyards and Neiman Marcus, too.
Your group just held the first annual She Shed-She Gives fundraising event. How did the event come about and what was the purpose of the event?
It was an idea sent to me by God. The concept for the event was simple: have our book club members bring “baggage”-filled luggage, stuffed with donations that included notes of inspiration and words of encouragement, gift cards and toiletries for several homeless shelters and youth in foster care. We used luggage as a symbol of shedding the baggage in our lives by blessing others.
The book club just started this year, and this was your fifth meeting. What was the theme of this month’s meeting?
This was chapter five of our book club, so we centered everything around the number five: meeting in Eastern Market’s Shed 5 located in Detroit, dancing the night away with the goal of losing five pounds and donating luggage to five local nonprofit organizations.
We all wore crowns and walked the red carpet after dropping off our baggage. We fixed each other’s crowns as we sang classic tunes such as Dionne Warwick’s “That’s What Friends Are For.” Our goal for this meeting was to shed baggage at Shed 5, all while turning our baggage into blessings for others.
Which nonprofits benefited?
The five nonprofits included:
– Redeem Detroit.org;
–COTS (Coalition on Temporary Shelters);
– Covenant House;
– Phoenix Center and;
– Genesis House Homeless Shelter/Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.