3.14.2011

It's Raining Books!

You know what we really, really love here at Books for Keeps? When books pour in so fast we can hardly keep up. If I figured it correctly, donors from 5 countries and 17 states have jumped in to help by donating books, funds, or points - just in the last three weeks!

BookMoochers and Library Thingers around the world are doing their best to bury Kay in books over in Greenville. She'll be bringing the books to Athens just in time for our May book distributions.

Thank you, everyone who's sending books and/or making point deals that allow Kay to mooch even more: Yoana in AZ (Wimpy Kids!!!), Brenda in Maine (we appreciate the title suggestions, too), Kathleen in MN (good eye for what we need!), and Gerri in Canada (we needed those Goosebumps). I'm not sure if Peta and Michelle know each other (Peta's in the UK; Michelle's in Canada), but together they are so on top of what we need it feels like they're a tag-team. Thank you!

THANK YOU, BookMoochers: Nessa in French Polynesia, Jenny in the UK, Sandra in Canada, Marcy, Jennifer, Michelle & Kelsey in NY, "damaistriona", Melanie and Lizzy in MD, Merwyn, AC, Meg, Carla and Kerry in CA, Mitch and Briana in GA, Annie in AZ, Runa in VA, Mandi in IA, Nancy in WV, Jeremy in CT, Rebecca in NJ, "CD" in PA, Kat in IL, Krista in TX, Gabrielle in MA, and Michelle in NC. Thank you also to John, BookMooch Founder, for a generous point donation just when we needed it most.

Kay sees most of the mail-in action, but a few packages still show up at my house periodically and it makes my day. Thank you Mary in Reidsville GA, Carrie in New Ulm MN, Jan in Davis CA, and Sandra from Home Education Resource Emporium in Canada. I've been wowed by the selections you've sent and appreciate your continued support.

I'm thrilled to say thank you to ELF, a PaperBackSwap.com user in California. ELF donated some always-elusive PBS points, which we use exclusively for copies of a Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Thank you, ELF!

Thank you also to Stacy here in Athens, for books AND a good story. How often do you hear, while standing in line at the battery store, "Oh! I have books for you right outside in my trunk..."? I'm learning to carry boxes and bags everywhere I go. Thanks Stacy!

City Salon and Spa patrons continue to donate books. I rarely learn their names, but I appreciate every one of you. Thank you Jenny, Nelda & Melanie, for your recent donations. I'm heading back over there this week to pick up more books, and continue to be grateful to Shayne for making it possible.

And how about all our book drives! Whitney and Leigh delivered soooo many boxes of books from the Athens Academy book drive... let the counting begin. Lori is holding a book drive in her office building in Sandy Springs. Cathy from Whatever It Takes is coordinating a book drive at St. Oliver Plunkett church in Snellville. Student group Whatever It Takes - UGA is holding a campus book drive this month. Wow.

A special thank you to Sara in Peachtree City: we had an opportunity to take all the leftover books from a consignment sale, but no way to get the books. Thanks to Sara, we didn't miss out. She fetched them right up, with almost no notice. Thank you Sara!

Thank you also to Stephanie in Johns Creek, and Laura and Phyllis in Athens, who all alerted me to grant opportunities. Fund-raising is the challenge I'm dreading most, but to operate on this scale requires resources other than books. I'm so grateful for donors who are already supporting us this way. Thank you Lucy (our first donation from Australia!), Leigh, Taylor, Stacy, Amy, and Heather - we will carefully and thoughtfully put your donations to good use.

Finally - let's not forget volunteers. AmeriCorps volunteers will be helping us out in April as part of Global Youth Service Day, and Clarke County Leisure Services volunteers will be helping us in June and July as part of the Teens in Action program. Individuals are joining in to help at our May book distributions and working on a summer book sale fundraiser. Charles, our volunteer graphic designer, is churning out book collection bin signs. And I'm so, so grateful to the folks who volunteer to transport books to our sort room... in the past I've done it all myself and this makes a world of difference.

With help like this, it's easy to be optimistic. Just think about the kids who will receive our books. They have no idea what's coming.

Whether you contributed 1 point or 100, they count. Whether you donated $5 or $500, we'll use it wisely for the benefit of children who need books. Whether your books traveled 1 mile or 1,000 we will find homes for them in Athens.

The clock is ticking. Will we reach 18,000 books?

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