Last Friday, 45 middle and high school educators and nonprofit partners came to our office to select books for their students–8,870 books, to be exact! Many of those educators were lined up in the dark before we even opened our door at 7 a.m., and over 3,500 of those books were gone in the first two hours! Late in the day, too, in spite of the snow that was falling and the threat of icy roads, teachers and nonprofit partners kept shopping for free books until we locked up at 7 p.m.
Every one of the teachers and nonprofit partners who selected books for their students told us how much it meant to them to be able to send their students home over the holiday break with books to read. Some selected books to replenish the free bookshelves they keep in their classrooms so their students will have lots of new choices, while others plan to use the books as gifts for their students. The most creative plan we heard, though, was a middle school health and physical education teacher who plans to make books available in her locker rooms!
And speaking of holiday gifts, 2,225 books are on their way to Orange County Department of Social Service’s Toy Chest program! Orange County DSS expects that as many as 5,000 children will benefit from this annual holiday toy, clothing, food, and book giveaway. Luckily, they arrived in a big van with several strong, enthusiastic teammates (pictured above) to move all those books!
We are so grateful to have the opportunity to partner with so many passionate educators to make sure their tweens and teens have plenty of books they’re excited to read, and we’re thankful to all of our book donors who make sure they have lots of choices! What an amazing community!