Today I have a bit of a different blogger interview for you guys. Lili from Lili’s Reflections is here to talk about the charity that she started!
First off, tell us a little more about this charity.
Well, this charity event is entitled Books Change Lives because I really do believe that books change lives. The event was initially focusing on getting books to impoverished children that otherwise couldn’t afford them, but now a majority of the books are going to Sandy victims that are still struggling as well. The drive was already months in when Sandy hit and I’m one of those people that are lucky enough to say that the worst of my problems was not having power or gas for ten days. Some people are still living like that now, so they’re going to get some of the books as well.
How did you start up this charity?
My high school is really awesome in the sense that it allows all of the Seniors the opportunity to miss some classes in the fourth quarter of the year to carry out a Senior Project that will be their end of the year grade. So I submitted an application with the idea of having a charitable book drive for illiterate kids because illiteracy rates are rising among impoverished families these days. I got approved within days with the encouragement of starting early as opposed to waiting until March, so I started the event in September via my blog and I plan on expanding the event to my school and local community in March.
What were your reasons behind starting it?
As I mentioned above, my main reason for starting it was the rising illiteracy rates in the country. Such a thing really upsets me. I think it’s safe to say that all of us here in the blog-o-sphere are avid readers. We love to read, we have books, and we have the means of obtaining books for ourselves. These kids don’t have that. Illiteracy rates are so low because they don’t have the means to exercise the usage of literacy. This is sort of my attempt at helping to change all of that. It shocks me to think that they don’t have the opportunity to lose themselves in another world because, in all honesty, that’s what I do to avoid everything negative in my life. They should most definitely have that opportunity.
What have you raised for the charity so far?
As of January 21st, we’re 10 books away from 600! Is that not insane?! It totally shocks me whenever I think about it. When I first had the opportunity to put this thing together, my goal was 100 books. Then once I realized what a huge response I was getting, I changed the goal to 500. Realistically, I’m now looking at 750 since the donations have slowed down, but my heart is silently hoping to hit 1,000 books by the end of this thing!
How can readers contribute to it?
To contribute to the charity, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me that you want to help out, ask any questions you want to ask, so on and so forth. I’ll tell you my address and we’ll go from there. All books have to go to me to get catalogued and sorted and from there my family is driving them down in one big run to the charity near my graduating in June. If you can’t donate, but want to help out, we can always brainstorm ideas!
What books are accepted?
Any books age newborn to 18 years old. No adult books are accepted, but parenting books are and classics are another exception. Non-fiction books of any level are okay as long as they’re not inappropriate. One author, Jessica Spotswood, even sent some journals for the kids, which is a cute idea. Books in other languages are accepted. Graphic novels and anime books are accepted since young boys tend to prefer them. ARCs are definitely accepted, so this is a way to send them to a deserving home. And signed books are accepted, even those that are personalized. They just can’t be in bad condition. The books don’t have to be brand new, used books are fine, but use your judgment. Something that’s ruined or greatly damaged won’t be taken. A few bent pages or remnants of dog-earing days are totally cool. I also take gift cards to finish off books in series that the kids need, so that’s a suggestion for those of you that are overseas that don’t want to pay insane shipping costs. Lastly, I do have a list from the charity of books the kids always love as well as books we need to finish a series if anyone is interested in contacting me about that. Pretty much anything appropriate is cool. When it comes to new adult books, exercise your best judgment. Audio-books are not acceptable either.
Follow my blog for updates. I post one at least once a week thanking all whose donations have arrived since the previous update.