A Red-Letter Day!

By Daniele Berman, Operations Manager

Tuesday was a red-letter day in the life of Book Harvest: at 9:15 a.m., a tractor trailer filled with 40,000 brand new books from First Book arrived at our warehouse and filled it to overflowing!

IMG_1565

In case you’re wondering, 40,000 books packed on 26 pallets weighs just over 42,000 pounds…and sorting and moving all those books takes a lot of energy and muscle! Thankfully, Book Harvest rarely has a shortage of either. Thanks to volunteers from Windsor Circle, Durham Academy, Cary Academy, and a handful of folks from our regular army of community members, we processed almost all of those books over the next day and a half and got them ready for next year’s Books on Break distribution. While pictures hardly do it justice, here’s a glimpse of all the fun:

IMG_1556IMG_1393IMG_1568

The student volunteers from Durham Academy, pictured above, spent some time reflecting on their experience working on this big project. Here are some of the highlights:

I was very delighted that we had the opportunity as a class to help out at Book Harvest. It was very eye-opening and sad for me to hear that several kids right here in our local community do not have books to read over summer break. I love what Book Harvest is doing for the public elementary schools and it has taught me not to take the simple things for granted. – Cha’Mia

Working at Book Harvest was a great experience. It was incredible to see the sheer amount of books that will now be distributed to children in the local area, and to recognize some of the same books that I loved as a child. It was eye-opening to realize the true scope of the issue of child literacy and summer learning loss, but also how big of difference receiving 10 books over the summer can make in a child’s education. – Ellie

I really enjoyed my experience at Book Harvest. I think that service opportunities are important for students because they show the student the importance of helping their communities. I really hope that our class can return to Book Harvest in the future. – Foster

I enjoyed my time at Book Harvest because I felt that I was helping children get their hands on a book. Although, I was simply making boxes for the books to go into, it still felt rewarding. I had/have lots of books in my home and it is definitely a blessing even though I take them for granted. I hope we get another opportunity to work with Book Harvest. – Davis

My visit to Book Harvest was unlike many of my other community service trips as the impact was not as direct, but it was as important. My group and I spent most of the time making boxes to put the books in, which might seem like a useless task, but it allowed for others to come and put the books in the boxes. During the beginning of the visit I felt like what we were doing was not that important but I later realized that making boxes was as important as giving the books to the kids as they are both steps to the process of greater good. – Connor

I really enjoyed working with the people at Book Harvest. I personally loved organizing the books and creating a “variety pack” of books for the schools. – Caroline

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Book Harvest. As a tutor of a second grader struggling with literacy, I see first hand the importance being surrounded by books. I loved being apart of an organization that realizes that as well.  – Serena

We are so grateful for the United Way of the Greater Triangle funded Close the Gap collaborative, without whose support this distribution would never have happened, and for our partnership with First Book, whose provision of over 135 million books to local communities like ours is changing the lives of children in need. You can read more about what led up to this exciting day in the article that ran in the Durham Herald-Sun a couple of days before the delivery.