It’s no secret that moving one million books — from donation to sorting to school/partner organization/community bookshelf/home visit — is no small task. Since 2011, hundreds of volunteers have done a lot of heavy lifting (figurative and literal!) to get all those books to their new owners. I asked a few of our long-time volunteers some questions about why they volunteer with us. Here’s what they had to say:
I volunteer at Book Harvest because…
…I believe if children have their own libraries they will become life long readers.
…I love books and believe everybody should be surrounded by them.
…I had been a long time school library volunteer and reading tutor, so Book Harvest’s mission of providing books to kids was a natural way for me to continue to promote childhood literacy. Along the way I found great conversation, camaraderie, and a community connection.
…I believe that all children should grow up surrounded by books and because I believe Book Harvest and its incredible staff have the power and vision to transform our community. Anything I can do to support Book Harvest’s mission is time well spent!
…EVERY child deserves to grow up with access to books that can spark their imagination and open new worlds and possibilities to them.
…I am passionate about its mission! I believe that all children should have the opportunity to select and own books, and I know that Book Harvest provides a way for kids to experience the power of ownership in addition to the fun and rewards that come with reading.
My favorite volunteer moment so far at Book Harvest was…
…when I carted my boxes of books into the Urban Ministry lobby and a man was there with his young son, and the dad said ”Look there is the book lady I told you about!” and the little boy’s face broke out in a big smile and asked me,”you have a book about big trucks?”
…attending my first Dream Big event. Incredibly exciting to see how many people believe, like me, in the power of books.
…when a middle school teacher at Books to Go broke down in tears of joy because she was so overwhelmed by being able to choose as many books as she wanted for her students.
…serving as a Books on Break guide at a local elementary school—talking with the children about the characters and kinds of stories they liked and then watching their excitement as they found the perfect books just for them!
…when I get to be around kids who are excited by books, or when a child donates books to share with other kids. Their joy and kindness are infectious.
My favorite books when I was a child were…
…Little Women and White Fang.
… I read a lot as a kid. I don’t have a particular title, but animal stories were always a favorite.
…The Sky Was Blue by Charlotte Zolotow.
…The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Jane Burroway…magical illustrations and witty verses in this fantastical tale of how a community comes together to solve a problem in the town. I loved getting to enjoy it all over again, reading it with mine own kids!
…This is impossible for me to answer! If forced to pick one, I guess I would choose From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg. The idea of hiding out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art was thrilling to me; I grew up to be an artist and a librarian at an art school.
Perhaps one of those books will be our one millionth? Stay tuned to social media and our website as we close in on a million over the next few weeks…it’s looking like we’ll have that big milestone to be thankful for by Thanksgiving for sure!