I've committed the nearly unforgivable crime of waiting so long to say thank you that I'm sure I'll forget some of you who really went out of your way to help. I'm going to try anyway...
Sandy from Ventura CA donated 8 BOXES of high-demand books in pristine condition. They're so nice, in fact, that I've set them aside for a special program I'm hoping to develop for the neediest of the needy. Thank you Sandy!
Heather from Yuma, AZ sent so many packages of books that I lost count. They just kept showing up, day after day. Not only do I appreciate the books, Heather, but the support and humor you send my way electronically. Thank you!
Michelle from Ontario, Canada continues to send boxes of books as she collects them, and how's this for inspiration: she collects books throughout the year to give out on Halloween night. I'm hoping she'll tell us how she does it. Stay tuned...
Classic City Orthodontics and City Salon & Spa: our first two drop off locations continue to collect books for us. I picked up batches from both last week. Thank you for giving folks a place to take their books. I don't mind meeting people in parking lots, but this is certainly more convenient.
Alexa in LA, like all of the people mentioned above, is a repeat donor who also surprised me with a shipment of books in the last week. While supporting Books for Keeps, Alexa is also trying to build a library at her son's school. Good luck, and thank you Alexa.
Carrie, from New Ulm, MN surprised me with another box of books practically before I'd finished thanking her for the last box. I'm getting spoiled rotten. Thank you Carrie!
Peta from London, England, shipped a box of books across the ocean all the way to Athens. That's how serious I am about collecting Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I'm so grateful you're willing to ship to me Peta!
So far everyone I've mentioned is a repeat supporter of Books for Keeps. What did Books for Keeps ever do to deserve you? Thank you for staying with me on this journey. And as always, thank you to our "angel moochers" who are working behind the scenes to keep books en route! (And thanks, Laura, our newest volunteer!)
We have some new supporters too. Quite a few BookMoochers donated points for the cause. Wester from the Netherlands, Sandy from Ventura CA, Amy from Texas, Laurie from Washington, Sophie from the U.K., Katy from New Zealand... Wow! Whether you gave 1 point or 100, I appreciate every single one of them and promise to use them wisely.
In the category of Emergency Rescue Assistance... Shannon, a colleague and friend from my first ever "real job". I was desperate for a flyer to distribute at the Piedmont College Fair. She pulled one together in less than 24 hours - while having a jam-packed day at work - and it looked great. She even saved a version in PowerPoint so I can use it for my presentation to the Family Outreach Coordinators this week. Not only do I appreciate the help, but she is a truly gifted writer and communicator. Oh Shannon, if only you lived in Athens instead of Florida... thank you, friend!
In the category of Timing Is Everything.... Leigh, a dear friend from college. She stopped by last night with a set of 9 sturdy, stackable storage bins. I'd been putting off sorting books because I'd run out of storage bins and it was getting hard to walk in the house. Thanks to Leigh, I got back to sorting today and can see my dining room table again. Six bins filled, three left in reserve. Thank you Leigh!
Finally... to Coleen, Carter and Lindsay in San Deigo - thank you for shopping the thrifts for me over the summer and sending those books along. See you at Thanksgiving!
To everyone that's gone unmentioned due to my crowded brain and faulty memory: I appreciate you and thank you and hope you forgive me.
I haven't even mentioned the folks who've volunteered to monitor drop locations or sort books; the folks who've contributed ideas or offered to help with organizational tasks from afar; the folks who are collecting books for us and storing them in their homes til we figure out the best way to transport them; Facebookers, BookMoochers, and LibraryThing'ers who cross-post links and info to help spread the word; people considering starting Books for Keeps branches in other locations; and how do I even start to thank the team from Whatever It Takes?
Books for Keeps is entering a new level of reaching kids and ending summer slide. If you took the time to read this entire post, now you know how we've managed to do it. People all around the U.S., even the world, are joining in to help the kids in Athens and it's creating a momentum and energy so strong I can feel it in the air.