Updated July 24, 2020

Books are a torch during times of darkness and human searching.

(Sure, go ahead and call us biased.)

In March of this year, as the skies over our world seemed to turn black, and we all wondered what would happen next – Books for Keeps looked at the 80,000 books in our warehouse as a beacon of hope.

We couldn’t wait for next school year when it would (might?) be safe to give them away through our traditional, school-based program. This impatience, this insistence that our mission is more critical now than ever, is what is behind our still-in-process response to the pandemic: delivering more than 62,000 books directly to students’ homes.

When schools suspended in-person instruction in March we knew we had to act – and quickly – to use those books as a source of hope. In fact, we looked at the books in our warehouse as a very real lifeline that could tether children to their educational futures, to their love of reading, and even to their sense of self.

(As of right now, children in Georgia and elsewhere have been out of school for more than four months – with at least one more to go, and longer delays to return in some counties.)

And so, in March, we embarked on a plan to distribute books to children in the schools we serve using an online ordering process, with fulfillment happening with the help of volunteers in our warehouse and for-profit partners. It felt just crazy enough to work.

And as of late July we’ve hand-delivered some 43,000 books to children – plus worked with a for-profit partner to deliver another 17,000 books via FedEx. And we’re still going, delivering the final orders packed in our warehouse, and [...]