Monthly Archives: December 2012

March 2013 is BFK Book Drive Month

One of our board members, Merryn Walker, has taken on a daunting but impressive goal: 50 book drives in the month of March!  Can you imagine?I hope you’ll join our effort.  Large or small, you can hold a book drive anywhere. The obvious places that come to mind: office, school, church, neighborhood.  But our supporters have gotten creative, and held book drives at birthday parties, tennis matches, even movie premieres! It’s as simple as sitting out a box or bin, then sending an email or Facebook post.  We’ll provide the verbiage for an email or Facebook post, and a printable sign you can attach to a box or bin. It’s so easy, and it’s quite fun!We accept books of any kind for children and adults, but we prefer not to receive encyclopedias or old textbooks.  We use everything that we can for our youth programs, and sell what we can’t use at our book sale fundraiser.  You’d be surprised at the uses we can find for your used books!  Many adult books are suitable for middle and high school students, and high school students even request cookbooks.  We give maternity books to pregnant teens. We give baby books to pre-K students.  And of course we give high-interest books in good condition to children of every age from K-12.Please consider where/with whom you might hold a book drive this March. It’ll help us get an early start on the 30,000 books we’ll need next year.  Contact Merryn at merrynwalker (at)

By |December 26th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on March 2013 is BFK Book Drive Month|

Could you survive a summer with nothing to read?

Some of the children we’re hoping to serve this May have never owned a single book. Some have parents who can’t/won’t/don’t take them to the library over the summer. Try to imagine spending an entire summer with nothing to read. Then help us give them books… for keeps. Here’s how.

By |December 24th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Could you survive a summer with nothing to read?|

Help us find the last 54 sponsors.

Your Facebook and Twitter pages are the best tools we have for reaching people. Will you use yours – TODAY – to help us find sponsors for the last 54 children?The May distributions are still 5 months away, but we need to have our books in-hand by January 15th, to allow us to get them sorted, boxed, and put away before Fire & Flavor (our warehouse provider) needs us out of the way for their busy season.  This means we need the funds by December 31st.  54 children. 9 days. Please join in our effort; it’s a small act that makes an exponentially larger impact to our program. Here’s a message you can use:Facebook: Give the gift of reading to a child in need. Books for Keeps needs sponsors for 54 more children. $25 will provide 12 books plus a tote bag for 1 child. $480 sponsors an entire class. Twitter:Give the gift of reading to a child in need. $25 provides 12 books for 1 child who might not own a single book. And let’s face it. January 1, we have to immediately start looking for sponsors for our 2014 program.  Help us ring in new year with the guarantee of 12 books each for all 2,100 children this May.  

By |December 23rd, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Help us find the last 54 sponsors.|

Give the Gift of Reading to a Child in Need

Christmas comes in May to children from low-income families in Athens. That’s when Books for Keeps gives 12 books to every child attending a Clarke County elementary school where 90% or more of students qualify for free/reduced-price lunch. For May of 2013, this means 5 schools with 2,100 students.The challenge: 54 students still need sponsors. Will you give the gift of reading this holiday season? $25 provides 12 books plus a tote bag to one student. $480 sponsors an entire class. Here’s how.Why 12 books? We’re working to end summer slide in Athens, and we’ve modeled our program after the methods used in a study that found a solution – and keeps kids reading all summer long.Books for Keeps Needs Your HelpShare Our Story: Facebook, email and Twitter are easy, powerful ways you can help us with a simple mouse-click.Sponsor a Child$25 provides 12 books for 1 child (a full summer of reading!), plus a tote bag to carry the books. Make it a gift and we’ll email you a certificate you can wrap and put under the tree.  Sponsor a Class and Send Us Your StoryWhether it’s your business, your book club, a church group or tennis team – sponsor a class, send us some pictures, and we’ll tell your story on our blog. $480 will provide 12 books per child to an entire class of students, and your story will inspire others. Holiday GiftsMake a donation of any amount in someone’s name for the holidays, and we’ll email you a gift certificate you can print and present as your gift.Memorial GiftsMake a donation of any amount in memory of a loved one, and we’ll send a letter to the family or recipient of [...]

By |December 22nd, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Give the Gift of Reading to a Child in Need|

12 days. 89 children. Can we do it?

We are so close.  We have books (or funds to purchase books) for 2,011 students for this May.  12 books per child, plus a tote bag!  We have 89 students left needing sponsors, and 12 days left to find those sponsors. Will we abandon these last 89 children if we don’t find sponsors? No way.  But it will throw a wrench in our plans, for sure. And my husband quickly vetoed the idea of raiding my 401(k).  If you have $2,225 burning a hole in your pocket, you can wrap this program up right now! Assuming you don’t… how about $25 to sponsor a child? Or $480 to sponsor a class? Here are details about how you can help. Please share with your friends, family, colleagues… well, everybody. Books for Keeps has done the impossible before.  6 weeks ago, we needed sponsors for 845 children; today we’re down to 89. Stay tuned. (And tell somebody. )

By |December 19th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 12 days. 89 children. Can we do it?|

Good News!

Just one short month ago I posted our call for help.  We had enough books on hand for 1,255 of our 2,100 students and needed sponsors for the remaining 845 children.  In the past month, sponsors have stepped up for 641 more students, leaving us with only 204 more sponsors to find! With all the bad news we see on television, this near-miraculous surge of generosity reminds me of something that’s so easy to forget:  there are a lot of really good, generous people out there!BUT……..I can’t stop to celebrate until we find sponsors for these last 204 children.  $25 will provide 12 books + a tote bag for 1 child. $480 will sponsor an entire class!We are $5,100 away from having every book we need, to provide 12 books to every K-5 student attending a Clarke County elementary school where 90% or more of students qualify for free/reduced-price lunch.  Can you help us get there?Click “Donate Now” and sponsor a child  Pull a group together and sponsor a class (book clubs, tennis teams, church groups…)Give BFK gift certificates this holiday seasonPost our program on your Facebook pageTweet about usWhen I started Books for Keeps 4 years ago, it was an effort to help 1 little girl who loved to read but had no books at home. You have the opportunity to do the same today.  Instead of wondering “Why doesn’t somebody DO something about this problem?”, say “I am somebody who WILL do something about this problem”.But be warned, it can change your life.  Sure changed mine. –Melaney Smith

By |December 17th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Good News!|

Volunteers Needed: Dec. 8-9th

 Help us prepare books for distribution to Pre-K students (just in time for Christmas), and inspect and sort books for our May Stop Summer Slide! program.  Adults only, please.Wear comfortable shoes and warehouse appropriate clothing. We hope to see you there! To sign up for a shift:Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot:   2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)    3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use youremail address, please contact Melaney and we’ll sign you up manually.

By |December 4th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Volunteers Needed: Dec. 8-9th|

Class Sponsor: Bitsy Grant Round Robin

Today’s featured class sponsor is a group of tennis friends playing out of Bitsy Grant Tennis Center in Atlanta, GA.  In between ALTA seasons, these friends hold a round robin tournament. Sunday’s tournament was held to benefit Books for Keeps.The players chipped in to adopt a class, and Bitsy Grant donated $4 of each $10 entry fee. It was a beautiful day for tennis (or so I heard… from inside the windowless BFK warehouse) and 16 players enjoyed a friendly, social day of tennis. No winners or losers… just playing for fun with no pressure. Some even brought books to donate. Thank you to Taylor & David Alexander, who were instrumental in arranging for BFK to be the recipient of this wonderful group’s effort, and to Bitsy Grant for donating a portion of the entry fees. Thanks also to the participants: your donations are going to provide 12 books plus a tote bag to every child in an Athens elementary school class, and keep those children reading all summer long!

By |December 4th, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Class Sponsor: Bitsy Grant Round Robin|

Class Sponsor: Allergy Partners of Georgia

When Books for Keeps announced it was seeking sponsors for 40 classes of students by December 31st, Dr. Dean Firschein of Allergy Partners of Georgia was the first to sign up.We weren’t surprised! Dr. Firschein has helped Books for Keeps in so many ways already this year.  Allergy Partners of Georgia sponsored a $500 donation match during our book sale, which was a great motivator for shoppers to add a donation to their purchase totals.  Dr. Firschein himself provided lunch for volunteers during one of our book sale setup days, and manned a shift during the book sale too.  He even worked a book distribution in May!Allergy Partners of Georgia focuses solely on allergy, asthma, and immunology, providing relief and restoring quality of life to those who suffer from these conditions. They have a reputation for educating & empowering patients, not just treating them.  (Dr. Firschein also happens to be my allergist, so I can tell you firsthand that he’s one of those wonderful doctors who takes the time to listen to his patients. So rare these days!)Thank you, Dr. Firschein and Allergy Partners of Georgia, for all that you’ve done to help Books for Keeps provide books to Athens children in need.  Allergy Partners of Georgia3320 Old Jefferson Road, Athens(706) 613-8500

By |December 3rd, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Class Sponsor: Allergy Partners of Georgia|

Class Sponsor: The MDS Girls

This is a story near and dear to my heart, as it tells the tale of a group of my closest friends. Some of us have known each other since kindergarten, others since middle school.  I am honored and touched that they pulled together to sponsor not one, but TWO classes for Books for Keeps. Thanks girls – love you! –MelaneyHere is our story, as written by Stephanie.Growing up in the small southern town of Macon, Georgia,  this group bonded at the tender age of 13. What drew these girls together was of typical circumstances: boys, laughter, gossip, clothes, makeup and typical High School activities of the time. College may have taken us apart geographically, but we always found time to gather during visits back home. An afternoon together on Christmas Eve would roll into late in the evening, never a lapse in conversation, laughter, or tears.After a few years, get togethers became wedding and baby showers. We celebrated these significant milestones together, peppered with new friends from college and our work- but never quite the same as “the girls.”Unfortunately, gatherings now may take place at funerals for our parents, but what comfort we take seeing each other during this most difficult time. This group now, with our busy lives, will carve out a weekend, usually once a year, and to an outsider, you would think we speak everyday. Falling back into our comfort zone with each other has become second nature. We’ve been there for each other through marriage, divorce, births, death, financial success, lay-offs, partnerships, as well as the other ups and downs of life. Now, almost 30 years later, our bond is still there, stronger than ever.We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our friendship than [...]