$400 and counting!

We've collected $400 in donations so far for the upcoming Thrift Store Tour.  Bayne is footing the bill for the gas, friends and family are providing free lodging... but I need YOUR help with purchasing the books.

I usually find 50-75 books anytime I go to Goodwill - especially if it's one I don't visit regularly. If the low end of that range holds true, at 100 stores I would expect to buy 5,000 books at about $.75 each... so I need $3,750 for this campaign. Please help!

Why am I buying books so early in the season?  Because book drives and book donations don't generate the quantities of chapter books we need, particularly books for 4th-5th graders. It's that simple.  We're going to have to buy them.

With 7 weeks left to go in the 2012 distribution year, we were still short 13,000 chapter books. Picture books - no problem; we got what we needed in plenty of time.  But it's too risky to wait on the chapter books- and to be blunt, my nerves can't take another crisis like that. We've reached the size where we have to purchase boxes, pallets, packing tape... and I don't know what we'd do without Fire and Flavor's donated warehouse space. (They've agreed to let us stay another year - thank you!) Funds are going to be our most important challenge this year.

In the end, we had a successful 2012 distribution season, we collected the books we needed, and over 2,000 Athens children took home 12 books each. It was wonderful. 

For 2013, my goal is to get Books for Keeps on a more sane, reliable schedule, and make absolutely sure we meet our commitments. That means the next 6 months are going to be critical.  I hope you'll help:

1) Make a tax-deductible donation.  We have more deep-discount purchase opportunities than we have funds.  This is the single most important issue we'll face this year. 

2) Join our Books for Keeps fundraising or book sale subcommittees.  We need help finding and applying for grants, creating a fund-raising program, and holding our next book sale.

3) Hold a book drive.  Book drives will still generate the majority of our books!

4) Share our cause with your friends, family, coworkers, etc.  Word of mouth is one of the most valuable things you can provide, and it costs you nothing!

Every year, Books for Keeps supporters rally to get us across the finish line.  It's inspiring.  But the stakes are high now; children at 5 schools are expecting us back next year and we can't risk letting them down. Contact me at givethembooks@gmail.com to get involved.



  1. Have you tried a place called McKay's in TN? It's not a Goodwill but sometimes they have books for 25-50 cents. They also every now & then have books that they put in binds outside the doors that you can take free.

  2. Yes! I just discovered McKay's last week, but haven't had a chance to update our blog. I went to the one in Knoxville and was able to get a big store credit, so my books were free due to trade-ins. I'm going to the store in Chattanooga later this month. There were easily 1,000 books in McKay's I could have used, but most are outside my price range. So I'm taking in adult books we can't use and trading them for credit.


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