The progressive Grand Rapids book store Books & Mortar turned a complaint from a prospective customer into an opportunity to give back to the community.

Books & Mortar teamed up with Grand Rapids Public Schools to give out gift cards to students who participated in GRPS's summer reading challenge and that ended up angering one student's mother.

The book store got a complaint letter from a student's mother who was upset that her daughter won a gift card to the store.  She was angry because the book store is considered to be "progressive" and that didn't align with her political beliefs. The mother, who chose to be anonymous in the letter, is also a small business owner and doesn't believe that businesses should make their political beliefs public.

In response to the letter, Books & Mortar posted the letter on their Facebook page with the statement "This is exactly why the work of progressive bookstores is still so vital and why we will never stop doing this work."

The letter got a big response on their page and the book store used that as an opportunity to raise money to donate books to Congress Elementary in Grand Rapids.

And as of Wednesday, October 6th, Books & Mortar has already raised almost $1,800 to send progressive books to the GRPS elementary school.

Books & Mortar is located at 955 Cherry Street SE in Grand Rapids and describes itself as "Grand Rapids' proudly progressive, consciously curated, and fiercely independent neighborhood bookstore."

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