Books Change Lives

 
Thank you, Stephanie, for making an amazing banner!

Help get new and used books to impoverished children!

As of now, this project has been successfully completed. I am no longer looking for donations, though I thank everyone who has inquired about helping out. The grand total of books collected was over 900, but we had to subtract a few for not being cared for properly.

The amount of books benefiting impoverished children was....

 800+ books!
Not including those who have contacted me about donations, but haven't told me exactly what they're donating.
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My Senior Project this year is going to be a year-long charity event that I am entitling BOOKS CHANGE LIVES. I was given the opportunity to miss some classes to take an internship, create artistic masterpieces, or to carry out experiments, but I chose to create a charitable event that would benefit the less fortunate with items that I hold dear to my heart: books.

Let’s face it, books really do change lives. When I’m having a bad day, I run home and immerse myself in a book so that I can forget about everything. It’s my coping mechanism to stress, sadness, and pretty much anything else out there. I’m going out on a whim here, but I think a lot of bloggers are in similar situations as me.

But what upsets me is that a lot of other teenagers and even adults cannot do the same thing. Reading is something we love that we actually take advantage of. Even if we don’t mean to.

I live in a decent suburb in northern New Jersey, the type of place people move to, to commute to bustling New York City for work every morning. But not forty minutes from me there are two incredibly impoverished towns. These towns are not well off despite producing the rare amazing athlete. These are places that are really suffering. One of these towns comes to my school every year around the holidays for an event called Winter Wonderland. These little kids are given reindeer rides by the football players while everyone else sets up booths where we make sure they all walk out with some new winter clothing, stuffed animals, and bucket loads of candy. Seeing the smiles on their faces at the end of the day warms my heart immensely because I know luxuries such as those are not easy to come by for them.

But there’s something else that I realized about these communities. Not only are there a lot of them throughout the world, but the literacy rates in them are declining. In some big cities such as Detroit, those in poverty are believed to have a 50% illiteracy rate. In any area in poverty, there’s only about a 50% - 60% graduation rate. In one of the two areas near me, I know for a fact that the adults are lucky to read at a young adult level because reading is a luxury that they can’t afford. Such a thing was hard for me to believe, an avid reader since age six that reads at an advanced level, and I realized that I need to put a stop to this.

Thus, I created the BOOKS CHANGE LIVES EVENT to coincide with my Senior Project. I will be having a book drive throughout the year to benefit these kids. I will be collecting books and gift cards. All books will be distributed to several impoverished communities to help these kids, their family, their libraries, and their educational systems. But to make this program a success, I need your help!


What I’m asking is for you to donate any old books that you don’t need anymore, maybe even ones that you didn’t really like so that they can go to a kid who will undoubtedly appreciate it and cherish it forever through the Bridge of Books Foundation. Donations can be both new and old, just as long as the book isn’t completely destroyed.

E-mail any questions and donations to reflectionsbylili@gmail.com
All interview requests go to reflectionsbylili@gmail.com
Any questions can also be tweeted to @LiliReflects 

Guidelines for Donations:
  • ARCs area accepted
  • Any books for newborns to an 18 year old are accepted
  • New adult books are not accepted
  • Adult books are not accepted, but parenting books are
  • Books in other languages are accepted 
  • Mangas and graphic novels are accepted
  • Signed books are accepted
  • Personalized books are accepted as long as they're in good condition
  • All books must be gently used or new. We're not trying to give these children destroyed books!
  • Gift cards are accepted in place of books. Gift cards will be used to finish series that weren't wholly donated, buy more books in a genre we don't have many of, and to get series bundles (this is a great option for international people who can't pay for shipping)
 Suggestions:
I do have a list of books that are always in demand from these kids if you want any suggestions!

29 comments:

  1. Awesome idea for your project!!! I'm sad that I live so near to Detroit and they may be the worst :( I'll scrounge up some books to send you :)

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  2. Lili, you are an amazing young lady. Literacy is my soap box issue and I am involved in a program to collect and donate books to impoverished communities as well. It's so important. Seeing a high school student take the initiative to do something like this is extraordinary.

    One of the things we are doing is putting Little Free Libraries up in places of need where books can be borrowed and returned or borrowed permanently. Our goal is to place these in food shelves where the neediest of families go. After all, if you can't buy food, you can't buy a book. And since literacy and poverty are directly linked, I can't think of a better place to donate to.

    I wish you great success in this endeavor.

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    1. Thank you so much Alexandra! It means a lot!

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  3. I got a few retweets on twitter. I hope some people see this and contribute. What a GREAT way to help people and rid my apartment of some bookish clutter. #Win

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    1. Thank you so much for spreading the word, Fiona!

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  4. This is such a great project! I definitely have some books to contribute, and will post this link on my website and twitter account!

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    1. You're awesome, Jacqueline! Thank you!

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  5. This is an amazing project! I'll be sharing this via FB and Twitter!

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  6. I sent you an email. I will be checking my kids' books and my YA collection for books to donate.

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    1. I'll check it now. Thank you for your kindness, Alyce!

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  7. Lili, I can't tell you how much I love this! I've ordered a few books that are on their way to you now. xox!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Gina! I've taken the titles down and I'll be drafting that e-mail for you shortly! xo!

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  8. I'm so impressed with you! Wow. What an incredible idea and a great way to get books in the hands of kids who want to read. Good luck!

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  9. I would love to see the list that you have of series that you need to complete or any other book on the wishlist. Christmas is coming up and I would love to be a part of this. My email is jeepgirl529(at)yahoo(dot)com. You, my dear, are an amazing gal! I am lucky to have found you and your blog!

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    1. Sending you the list now. Thank you so much for wanting to help out (:

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  10. This is SUCH a great thing you're doing. I am now shooting you an email asking which books you want. You are awesome.

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  11. You are doing such a wonderful thing here!! Literacy is an issue I'm passionate about as well & am in the process of starting my own program.
    I hope you break your goal of 1,000 books! I'm sure you will

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  12. Fantastic idea! Good for you for doing this. I have some parenting books and YA books I'd be happy to donate. :)

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    1. Just shoot me an email, Lydia! And thank you!

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  13. I hopped over from The Kindness Project and author Sarah Fine's posts about this.

    What a WONDERFUL thing!!!!!

    I'd love to send a gift card.

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  14. Your books are on their way! Please make sure to not give the kiddos the adult contemporary romance :D

    ~JD

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  15. Books definitely change lives. I am right there with you on the reading is the ultimate coping technique thing.

    This is an amazing thing you have put together and I would love to send you some books for the project if you're still doing it.

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