By Toonie Goyal, Student & Book Drive Host
My first experience with Book Harvest was on Martin Luther King Day in 2013. I wasn’t really planning to do anything with my day, but when my mom said she was going to a Book Harvest collection and asked if I wanted to come, I said yes. We had only pledged an hour, and considering I wasn’t doing much at the time I asked myself “why not?”.
We arrived at the tables they were collecting books at, and we were greeted very warmly. The volunteers there showed us the ropes and were all very encouraging. So we got to work: we counted, labeled, and bagged books as they came. It would not sound enjoyable and entertaining but it was great, feeling productive and contributing to the community in addition to all the smiles and happy faces all around us.
Time flew, and before we knew it the one hour we had pledged turned into three hours. I had had so much fun I was just wondering when I could do it again. Book Harvest was also my first venture into community service, and I was pleasantly surprised about how fun it was. I felt like I was making a change in what I was doing, and over my time working with Book Harvest, I would come to find that indeed I was making a difference, one that I could see in our community.
It is obvious to me that Book Harvest has an impact on people’s lives, by giving all children, no matter who they are, the tools to do whatever they want. I’ve been fortunate to work with Book Harvest so far and I’m excited to continue my work with them in the future.
My name is Tarun “Toonie” Goyal. I am an 8th grader at Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill. I have worked with Book Harvest for one year now, participating in book drives and book distributions. I organized a book drive at Smith for MLK Day 2014 which brought in 8,000 books in a single week. I now serve as an advisor to Book Harvest on youth service.