Sunday, December 4, 2011

Children's Book Donations and Charities

Yesterday I took a stroll down 5th Avenue, which is typically filled with shoppers. But in December, it's a merry mob scene. People clutch their holiday purchases as they bob and weave through the crowded sidewalk... which is barricaded. Perhaps to discourage us from pushing each other into oncoming traffic.

'Tis the season for rampant consumerism, which is always a friendly reminder to me that there are others out there struggling to eat. If you're a lover of books, reading, and kidlit, here are a few ways you can volunteer your time or cash to help young readers:

-Project Night Night is one of the sweetest nonprofits out there. Donate just $20 to send a cozy nighttime care package (a blankie, stuffed animal, and book) to children in homeless shelters across the country. They also have a volunteer program if you'd like to donate your time.

-First Book serves underprivileged communities and schools by providing children's books to eager readers. Send along $2.50 to donate one book, and through December Disney Publishing will match every dollar donated with a new book.

-Library giving programs are even more essential with budget cuts and library closings. Visit the ALA to find out how to donate children's books to libraries. The organization does not manage donations, but it's a good resource for finding libraries in need as well as giving programs, like the Libri Foundation. Your local library will also have information on their specific book and volunteer needs.

-Reading Is Fundamental, the largest literacy nonprofit in the US, provides free books and reading services to children in underserved areas. The fun hook is that the children get to choose the books they will receive (up to three per year), providing a sense of ownership and choice in their reading habit. This organization also has over 400,000 volunteers, and makes it easy to find programs in your area.

I know there are plenty more out there - what's your favorite place to donate time or money to promote literacy to child and young adult readers?


  1. This is great! I hate how the focus is on consumerism this time of year. It should be about spending time with loved ones and being thankful. I'd much rather put my money toward good causes like these. :)

  2. Gina, I nominated you for the Versatlie Blogger award. Congratulations!

  3. What a great post! I especially like the book donation sites, since I am not familiar with them. (I wrote a post with my favorite book donation sites about 2 months ago, and thought I had seen them all.) Fantastic!

    Lovely ideas!!

  4. Brilliant! There are a few in there I'd not heard of before. Great post. Thank you for pointing these charities out.

  5. @ghenet - true dat!

    @jennifer - be still my HEART! thanks so much. i'm going to look into this now.

    @bridgette - neat - i'm going to check out your post.

    @rae - thank you :)