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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Frozen fingers, warm hearts, and a whole LOT of books!

Dear friends,

It was chilly — the coldest day we’ve had in Durham so far this winter.

It was breezy — so windy that even our best-engineered signs couldn’t stand up to the wind.

It was busy — with hundreds of volunteers and tens of thousands of books all in one place.

And at the end of our Dream Big Celebration on Monday, I walked away from Durham Central Park with all the warm fuzzies I could have imagined — and then some. Now that my fingers have thawed out, I’m writing to share just the tiniest glimpse of what the party was all about!

There were SO many books. SO many people. SO many fun activities. SO many moments of celebration — from starting the day with a reminder of our great big millionth book milestone just a few months ago to ending the day with more books than we could count and sort — and a million moments in between of excited kids and hardworking volunteers and hilarious mascots and delicious treats and fun projects…a million reasons to love our big-hearted community’s embrace of our BIG dreams for all our kids.

Here are just a few of my favorite moments from the day.

We’d love to see your moments, too! Share them on social media with #dreambigbookdrive or just email them to me at! And if you visited our red carpet photo booth, you can find your photos and download them for free here.

And what about the book count, you’re wondering? WE’RE STILL COUNTING! 

The entire month of January is our Dream Big month at Book Harvest, and that means it’s not too late to bring your book donations to us! As long as they get to us by January 31, we’ll make sure they’re included in our final Dream Big count — watch your email on February 1 for the grand total!

Check out all the groups that ran book drives for Dream Big — 76 and still counting! You can still join that list and collect books in your neighborhood, workplace, congregation, civic group, sports team, or other organization. As long as the books get to us by January 31, they’ll make it into the count!

So here’s a great BIG thank you to everyone who made Monday a dream come true: I hope your hearts are as warm as mine and that you’re as inspired as I am by our amazing, big-dreaming community!


P.S. I can’t neglect to give one more shoutout to our Dream Big 2019 Presenting Sponsors: Duke University Libraries, Scholastic, United Way of the Greater Triangle, and Hendrick Southpoint Automall. I am so grateful to you and all 74 of our rockstar sponsors for making this day possible!


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