Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Special Visitors

Emily and Harrison Winters (who are the twins behind the BookGrams4Grandma Book Drive) visited Reader To Reader recently as they toured Amherst College as part of their college selection process.

The two outstanding students have collected hundreds of books for Reader To Reader and we were so pleased that they could visit us in person. Our only question is which top college is going to be lucky enough to get them!

Here is their wonderful story:

Three years ago, our grandmother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s moved into an independent living facility. Unfortunately, she was not able to bring her numerous books with her because due to her condition, she was unable to read them.

We came up with a great idea to use her books to do a community service project. But what to do? After much brainstorming, we decided to donate the books to various organizations, but with a special twist. We created BookGrams4Grandma as a way for our grandma’s passion for reading to live on.

When it came down to finding places where we could donate our grandma’s books, this proved to be a challenge. Many places would not accept her books because they were adult, hardcover, fiction books. However, we did notice a pattern in the books that organizations wanted. Many places were in need of children’s books. We decided to trade in our grandma’s adult books for children’s books at a local bookstore in Fort Washington. We also went through our bookshelves and asked friends to donate books to the program too.

We chose an organization called Reader to Reader in Massachusetts to send our books. Reader to Reader donates books to deprived libraries across the country. We created a special sticker that we place in all of our books, describing BookGrams4Grandma. Over the last three years, we have sent approximately 600 children’s books to Reader to Reader.

(We thank Emily and Harrison Winters for all the amazing work they have done. Please visit their blog to learn more about them.)

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