Monthly Archives: October 2010

Trick or Treat – for Books?!

Michelle from Kingston, Ontario, Canada has been supporting Books for Keeps since the early days. She has some pretty inspiring Halloween plans this year and agreed to share them with us… so here’s Michelle, in her own words:————-Last year I heard about a lady in New York State who was giving out books as treats for Halloween. How great it would be to have a really unique “treat” for the two hundred or so kids who prowl our neighbourhood on “All Hallow’s Eve”?I figured we could afford about $1.00 per child/book/treat. I already had some experience with finding brand-new and unread books, still in their plastic covering, at charity shops. I had lots of resources available to me in the form of friends who teach or who have access to “teacher deals” from various publishers. In particular, I’ve been the “Scholastic Mom” at my kids’ school for the past few years, and I’ve seen lots of fantastic deals come across my desk.I started with what we already owned. We have four sons, ages five to twelve, and it was easy to start by “purging” their shelves of books. But my biggest source for books ended up being a warehouse sale held in conjunction with Scholastic book fairs. There was a scratch and dent box, with brand-new books for all ages, many of which had defects that even I couldn’t find. The best news? They were priced at exactly a dollar a book!I’ve ended up with eight cardboard boxes loaded with books to give out on Halloween night this year. I’ll be paying particular attention to the [...]


Books for Keeps is dreaming of and wishing for many, many copies of the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, “The Ugly Truth”. We want it so bad we set up a Wish List on Amazon.Please consider ordering a copy for us! If you order from our wishlist page, Amazon will ship all the books to us (they already have our address on file) when it’s released in early November. It’s on sale for $7.67 right NOW. This book is the #1 request from the kids Books for Keeps serves. And giving kids books they want to read is the #1 way to keep them reading. We still can’t find books 1-4 in thrift stores, so our only hope of getting this book is for people to donate them. So please order a copy, and share this post with anyone who might donate the book.Bonus: I will put the name, city & state of each donor on a book plate inside the cover of every copy we receive between release date and December 1. Spread the word!

Crazy Week: Update

Wow. I’m exhausted. I had no idea how much I could accomplish in a single week if I set my mind to it. Getting up at 4am every day helps, but I can’t say I’m enjoying it.This morning I woke up groggy and grouchy, only to discover the most encouraging email from Bonnie and her kids Ava & Jack. My energy is renewed well, ok, not my energy but my enthusiasm. But see what I mean about how doing one little thing can make a difference? What if she decided not to write? Good wishes for Books for Keeps make a difference. There are definitely days where I wake up and think “I can’t do this.”So here’s what’s coming up in Crazy Week Part Two.- A sorting session this afternoon with a middle school media specialist. She’ll sort, I’ll watch, listen and learn.- Our first volunteer sort day! Tomorrow 11 volunteers will sort books. I confess it’s a bittersweet moment for me. I’ve inspected and sorted something like 7,000 books all by myself. It just feels like a huge milestone for Books for Keeps.- A meeting with an advisory panel of media specialists. Very much hoping for volunteers to manage our wish lists and keep them current. I want Athens kids to have the best books, not just the old ones!- The Halloween Book Drive. I’m planning as if there’ll be a crowd, but mentally preparing myself to be OK if nobody shows.- The First American Bank “Done in a Day” event. I’ll give a brief presentation about Books for Keeps (at 7:30 AM!) to all FAB [...]

By |October 22nd, 2010|2011 Book Distributions|Comments Off on Crazy Week: Update|

Boooook Drive & Halloween Party!

I have a serious fear of hosting parties… specifically, that nobody shows up. Please, won’t you tell your Athens-based friends?Here’s a link to the event on Facebook.As if throwing a party isn’t enough, I have 3 other events in the next 7 days that require significant advance planning and preparation. Up first: our first volunteer sort day!I’m excited, but exhausted. Please, October, end soon. I miss my life. What I would give for a week where my only responsibility is to sort books…

By |October 20th, 2010|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Boooook Drive & Halloween Party!|

One crazy week, coming right up!

Planning a Halloween book drive/party… preparing for and conducting my first “Volunteer Sort Day”… meeting with a group of Jackson County elementary school kids to talk about Books for Keeps… working out a list of topics for my first Media Specialist Advisory Panel meeting… creating a presentation for next week’s “Done in a Day” event at First American Bank…Will I get it all done? I don’t know. I’ve recently accepted (for the 100th time) that I’m not Superwoman. I’m not taking on anything new til I dig myself out of the over-commitments I’m struggling to fill.I’m looking on the bright side: these events will lead to good things for Books for Keeps, which means good things for Athens children.(Please remind me I said that… sometime around Wednesday, ok?)

Rally your neighbors!

Leigh, a local Books for Keeps supporter, sent an email to her neighborhood list-serv offering to pick up books from any neighbor willing to donate their K-12 books to Books for Keeps.

Her first reply showed up in her inbox within 15 minutes. That’s how easy it is to help Books for Keeps. And what a great way to meet the neighbors!

Try it. I’ll even write the email for you.¬†


By |October 17th, 2010|How You Can Help|Comments Off on Rally your neighbors!|

Save the Date: Oct 27th

Halloween Book Drive & Trick or Treat !!Locos on Harris StreetWednesday Oct. 27th, 5-7PMKids eat for $.99 with book donationBring your kids, in costume. Bring your books… ALL of them. We’re still working out the details, but this will be a family-friendly event to wrap up our month-long book drive.Who will win the first-ever “Most Books Donated” award? Clean off your bookshelves and maybe, just maybe, it’ll be YOU.MelaneyPS: Can’t make it to the party? We have 18 drop off locations… surely you’re near one of them!

By |October 16th, 2010|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Save the Date: Oct 27th|

Check these out…

First – how about this new logo designed by Ryan, the Creative Director at Whatever It Takes. What do you think? Tell the truth, it won’t hurt my feelings (because I didn’t design it!)We’re using it in some advertising while I figure out if I’ll stick with it. Using it would require a complete redesign of the blog, but I can live with that.Next: check out our new Shout Out/Breaking News page. People are doing great things for Books for Keeps, and it goes beyond donating books. This gives me a way to say thank you – AND – might spark ideas in other folks who have the ability to help and don’t even realize it.Finally – how about this book drive ad, created by Ryan and Alex from Whatever It Takes?!The book drive response has been strange. Very few books have been donated at our drop off locations, but as the word spreads, more people contact me to volunteer to sort books. I’m trying to figure out what to do. Ideas?

By |October 14th, 2010|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Check these out…|

Volunteer Opportunities

This page changes as our needs change, so check back periodically.Drop Off Locations NeededCan your business serve as a drop-off location after the October book drive ends? Melaney enjoys meeting people in parking lots, but it’s not particularly efficient…Sort Day Volunteers (Athens GA)We’ll be scheduling a sort day soon. Enter your email on our Volunteer Spot page for access to our calendar.1. Book Sorters – Athens GA Help sort books by reading level. We provide guidelines, training, and assistance.2. Storage Helpers – Athens GAWe need one or two folks with strong backs to carry boxes of books to storage as boxes are sorted and packed. This is a low-volume job so bring a book (or your homework) for down-time.

By |October 13th, 2010|How You Can Help|Comments Off on Volunteer Opportunities|

Better and better and better….

What a difference a week makes. Things are just getting better and better here at Books for Keeps.The majority of the unsorted books have been moved to our new sort room, so I can’t be distracted by my sorting obsession while I’m working from home.Three wonderful angels – Mary, Kay and Katherine – handle the majority of our book mooching. Michelle and Donna appear to be funneling every book in Canada straight to Athens. My niece MK logs the books received and spends much of each Tuesday running Books for Keeps errands. Cathy K, a former nonprofit Executive Director, is helping me organize a lot of the administrative aspects of Books for Keeps so we can take advantage of opportunities that come our way. Brett, a UGA volunteer, found a web site to help me publish our volunteer sort days. It allows people to read the tasks they’ll perform and sign up on the spot.Patti, a language arts consultant/teacher/book reviewer is pulling together an advisory group of media specialists to help with everything from designing distribution programs to keeping our wish list current with new, popular titles.Volunteers are signing up for our first two sort days. It’s weird to realize I won’t see, examine, touch every book myself. Alex and Shayne, Whatever It Takes gurus, are helping me plan a book drive wrap party that will be a mini-book drive in itself. I hope we can pull it off!So what am I doing? Everything else! This very minute, I’m focused most on creating well-defined volunteer job descriptions. Basically, I’m dividing my massive to do list into chunks that could be divvied up among [...]

By |October 12th, 2010|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Better and better and better….|