Books for Keeps blog

Young people, little gestures, and the big difference they can make

Every once in a while, we are reminded that what we do is only a very small part of a larger, and incredibly inspiring community. We see an act of selflessness that stops us in our tracks and makes us feel a little awestruck.This week, after putting out a call for sponsors of Melaney’s upcoming Thrift Store Tour, we got an email.More specifically, we got an email from Abby, a 12-year-old who is donating $85 to sponsor a stop. What made this email even more special is knowing that this is part of a larger effort by Abby. She wants to support literacy in her community as part of a project for Girl Scouts, and created a little business to raise the funds she needs.Plus, Abby is going to meet Melaney to help shop for books at the thrift store stop she is sponsoring. We love connecting with our supporters over books!Keep up the great work, Abby – and thanks for your support!***** We still have stops that need sponsors. Check out the list here, or email Melaney:’s a simple, yet powerful way to support Books for Keeps. Rather than buying brand new books with this money, we are able to go find gently-loved, like-new books for our program. They are often hard-to-find books like “Captain Underpants” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” that, with a little time and effort, can be unearthed at our local thrift stores.Click the “Donate” button at the upper-right corner of this Web page to make a donation. And thank you!

By |September 19th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Young people, little gestures, and the big difference they can make|

Announcing… The 2013 Thrift Store Tour!

9/17 Update: Atlanta and Athens stops scheduled for October 1-2, and we still need sponsors!Last summer, Melaney embarked on a thrift store tour of the southeast, in the month or so before she went back to work full time.  She covered parts of four states, with each stop sponsored by a different Books for Keeps supporter.In some cases, the sponsors met Melaney at the stores they sponsored, and helped her shop! Last year’s  tour generated 1,935 books for $1,606. This year, Melaney is returning to the stores where we got the biggest bang for our buck. All we need now are sponsors!Will you sponsor a stop, or donate funds to help cover a portion of the larger ones? Here’s how. We’ve included the purchase amount at each stop last year as a guideline, and we’ve added a couple of new stops. Leg # 2 – Atlanta Road TripGoodwill Sandy Springs ($60) – Sponsored! Lori H, AtlantaGoodwill Buckhead ($60) Goodwill Perimeter ($80) – Sponsored! Lori H, AtlantaGoodwill Midtown ($160) – Sponsored! Leigh S, AtlantaGoodwill Johns Creek ($85) – Sponsored! Abby BGoodwill Lawrenceville ($90) – Sponsored! Kay H, GermanyLeg # 2 – Athens Area Goodwill Athens – Huntington Road  ($85)Goodwill Athens – Gaines School Road (New! Estimated at $50)Goodwill  Winder ($110)Leg # 2 – Macon Area We can’t schedule this stop without sponsors…Goodwill “Goodreads Bookstore” ($205) Special Opportunity*: Gottwals Used Books ($480)The stops will be scheduled as they are sponsored, so please consider making a donation today.  We’ll share pictures, tweets, and stories along the way.  Click here for details on how to sponsor a stop – it’s as easy as clicking “Donate.”If you’re interested in meeting Melaney at a stop, contact [...]

By |September 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Announcing… The 2013 Thrift Store Tour!|

Thank you to the supporters getting a head start on Book Drive Month!

We’ve already given you the run-down of Book Drive Month in October, and how you can help.We have a handful of intrepid supporters who are getting a head start, and we wanted to say “thank you,” and let you know about their drives.Each fall, Dr. Tradd Harter and the staff at Classic City Orthodontics host a drive on our behalf during the month of September. They even use their appointment reminders to remind folks to bring donated books to their appointments.If you’re a patient, or have a child who is, please consider donating any used books or new children’s books to Classic City Orthodontics this month. Both locations, in Athens and Watkinsville, have collection bins. They have been long-time supporters of our program, and we are grateful!Also this month, Alpha Beta Gamma at Athens Technical College is collecting books in multiple locations around campus.Alpha Beta Gamma has been a reliable source of volunteers and support at Books for Keeps. In fact, they will be helping at a volunteer day in the warehouse later this month!If you work at or attend Athens Tech, or even if it’s just convenient to where you live or work, you can donate books in buildings A, B, H, and the Library.Thanks, Classic City Orthodontics and Athens Tech! Your support sets a great example for the rest of our community!

By |September 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Thank you to the supporters getting a head start on Book Drive Month!|

Book Drive Month: it’s your moment to get involved with Books for Keeps

Been wondering how you or your business can help Books for Keeps in a simple, straight-forward way?Book Drive Month is around the corner, and whether you knew it or not, this is the chance you’ve been waiting for.We are seeking businesses, churches, civic groups – or regular, everyday individuals – who can hold a book drive on behalf of Books for Keeps during the month of October.Hosting a Books for Keeps drive location can be as simple as putting a box in your garage or office and sending an email to let folks know it’s there. You’ll be surprised at how many books you get, but we’re happy whether you collect 25 books or 2,500 books.We need new and like-new books for our distributions in Athens elementary schools, as well as two new sites outside of Athens, this school year. Check out our wish list on the left side of our home page to see what books are in high demand for our Stop Summer Slide! program. Remember, our program pivots around an important point: children pick out the books they are excited about, and that they will want to pick up and read during summer without any encouragement from an adult.However, we will accept books of all kinds! Any books that are not right for our program go to our book sale, where they generate funds to help us buy the books that are right.For larger book drives, we can help with communications and logistics if needed. We will gladly post information about location, hours, and contact details on our blog and Facebook page, as well as distribute that information in our newsletter.Regardless of size, we’ll provide printable signs and logos, and messaging [...]

By |September 9th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Book Drive Month: it’s your moment to get involved with Books for Keeps|

Throw-back Thursday at Books for Keeps

One of our favorite things to do at Books for Keeps is take a moment to remember how far we’ve come in just a few years.It’s a nostalgia exercise, but it’s also a motivating exercise – right when you’re feeling a little tired or a overwhelmed – to underline the fact that we have accomplished great things and come a long way in a short period of time.*****So, we’re spending today looking back at the previous two years of our annual book sale, after the conclusion of a very successful fundraiser in which we raised $20,000. That’s right – the third annual BFK Book Sale brought in $20,000 to help us buy the books that get children excited about reading, and keep their brains active and engaged all summer long.We had a great retail location this year in Homewood Village Shopping Center. We still managed to keep costs low, yet spread the word far and wide, thanks to sponsored advertising from Fairway Outdoor Advertising and the OnlineAthens and Athens Banner-Herald. We had many corporate sponsors – enough to cover every single hour of the book sale, meaning that all donations made by patrons were doubled by our sponsors!And we can’t forget our incredible volunteers. More than 75 people helped us sort, organize, set up tables, decorate, sell, break down, haul away and clean – all in about three weeks! We cannot thank all of you wonderful volunteers enough!We still have a long way to go toward our fundraising goals for this year – we recently made a commitment to expand to two more schools in Athens, plus two schools outside of Athens for the first time. We need partners in the community who can [...]

By |September 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Throw-back Thursday at Books for Keeps|

Thank you to our BFK Book Sale sponsors!

The BFK Book Sale is a mere three days away.The sale site is abuzz with activity, thanks in large part to some truly incredible volunteers. However, we also want to take a time-out to thank the many businesses and individuals who have helped make this fundraiser possible.Sponsors of our book sale play a really important role. They help us cover overhead costs like utilities and advertising so the money we make goes directly back into our program. But more importantly, their donations sponsor specific portions of the sale.What this means is that when you choose to make a donation at the BFK Book Sale, these sponsors have pledged to match your donation up to a certain amount. Our sponsors are counting on our patrons to be generous and to dig deep in order to make the most of their pledged matches.See the full book sale schedule here.We’ll be recognizing our sponsors at the book sale, and telling patrons who/what business will match their donation during each portion of the sale. We also wanted to take a moment to recognize all of our wonderful sponsors here, because, well, we just can’t thank them enough.Full-day sponsor:• Niolon Lumber SalesHalf-day sponsors:• Allergy Partners of Georgia• Allstate – Merryn Walker Agency•• Model Citizen Salon• Supporters of• Carol & Rob WinthropTwo-hour sponsors:• First American Bank & Trust• Holland & Company/MacRae• Mitchell Bridge Dental Associates• Taqueria la Parrilla• Kathy Prescott & Grady ThrasherIn-kind sponsors:• Crown Transfer & Storage• Fairway Outdoor Advertising• Fire & Flavor• Homewood Village Shopping Center• Mama’s Boy• Online Athens & Athens Banner-Herald• Taqueria La Parrilla

By |August 19th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Thank you to our BFK Book Sale sponsors!|

BIG News: Books for Keeps is expanding to reach more children

We’ll cut to the chase, because this news is too big and too exciting. We’re expanding. And we’re expanding in a big way.On Aug. 3, the Books for Keeps board of directors made the decision to serve two new Athens elementary schools in 2014, and to reach students outside of Athens for the first time.This is a huge deal in the life of our organization. It’s about us keeping a promise made soon after we were incorporated as a nonprofit in 2011. It’s about us stretching to meet the need where it exists.And like anything else Books for Keeps does, we’re going to do it big and we’re going to do it right. Full details are in the announcement below.Help us spread the news. Books for Keeps is growing. Books for Keeps is maintaining its commitment to Athens students, while reaching out to those areas of the state where we know there is additional need.It’s going to take a huge effort to make this happen. This commitment means we will nearly double the number of students served by our program, Stop Summer Slide! But like so many things that feel large and overwhelming, it would not be worth taking on if it weren’t a little scary.We’ve gotten this far because of the support of our community. We need your help now more than ever. Spread the word. Come to the BFK Book Sale, Aug. 22-25, at Homewood Village Shopping Center. Make a donation via the PayPal link on our website. Host a book drive. There are many ways for you to be involved as we move forward.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:BOOKS FOR KEEPS ANNOUNCES MAJOR PROGRAM EXPANSION AHEAD OF BOOK SALE ATHENS, GA. – August 8, [...]

By |August 8th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on BIG News: Books for Keeps is expanding to reach more children|

Sell a book. Change a life. Volunteer at the BFK Book Sale.

Summer is winding down, and soon it will be back to the grind of PTA meetings and soccer practice, the crush of football traffic, and the routine that fall brings.Not to worry – Books for Keeps has the perfect opportunity to ease you back into the school year. Come volunteer at the third annual BFK Book Sale, between August 22 and 25 (Thursday through Sunday).It’s the weekend before the UGA football season opener, and we have a great location this year: Homewood Village Shopping Center (just off the loop, in the same center as Taqueria La Parrilla).Sign up for a volunteer shift at HandsOn Northeast Georgia or email Leslie Hale at to sign up. We need volunteers who can run the cash register, check out shoppers, answer questions, read to kids, and organize inventory.Shifts are as follows:Thursday, Aug. 22 — 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.Friday, Aug. 23 — 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (we will be feeding volunteers in this shift lunch from Mama’s Boy!)Friday, Aug. 23 — 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.Saturday, Aug. 24 — all shifts fullSunday, Aug. 25 — 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (we will be feeding volunteers lunch from someplace TBD on this day)Sunday, Aug. 25 — 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.This is our biggest fundraiser of the year! Last year’s book sale raised $16,000 – all of which went back into buying books to keep kids here in Athens reading all summer long.All year long, we receive donated books. Many of them are adult books, or they are children’s books that aren’t quite right for our program. At Books for Keeps, though, every book has a purpose. The books we cannot use make money to help us buy more books [...]

By |August 2nd, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Sell a book. Change a life. Volunteer at the BFK Book Sale.|

The BFK Book Sale is back – and it’s going to be better than ever!

It’s that time of year again.You know, the one where you tell your inner book lover that it’s OK to go crazy. It’s OK to just buy an extra five books (or ten or twenty) rather than picking them up at the library. Because it’s the BFK Book Sale.We’re pleased to announce that we have the best location yet for our third annual sale, and by far the best selection of books to showcase. Because every book at the sale was donated to us, it means every dollar you spend on books at the BFK Book Sale goes right back into purchasing books that will get kids in Athens excited about reading all summer long.So don’t hold back. Join us August 22 through 25 at Homewood Village Shopping Center, 2415-C Jefferson Road (next to Harry’s BBQ Bistro), for a long weekend of great books. Our prices can’t be beat – our most expensive books start at $3, and prices will be reduced over each day of the sale.We’re also planning lots of fun extras for the book sale, like live music, a Kids’ Corner where volunteers will be reading to your little ones while you shop, and more. Keep checking back here for details as we set them. You can also join our event on Facebook, follow updates on our Facebook page, or sign up for our newsletter.See you at Homewood Village in August!BFK Book Sale dates and times:Thursday, Aug. 22 – 5 to 8 p.m.Sneak Preview Night: $10 admission gets you first crack at our amazing selection of booksFriday, Aug. 23 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.Friday Free-day: Our first free-admission day of the sale. Check out our best books before they’re gone.Saturday, [...]

By |July 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The BFK Book Sale is back – and it’s going to be better than ever!|

Class Sponsor: Dr. Tradd Harter: Classic City Orthodontics

It’s a pretty special thing to be able to say you were part of something – a true supporter – from the very beginning. That’s exactly the case with Classic City Orthodontics.Dr. Tradd Harter’s practice was one of the first local businesses to host a book drive benefiting Books for Keeps. Classic City Orthodontics now holds a drive every August. It has become so much a part of their routine in the fall that they remind patients to bring books to donate when making appointment reminder phone calls. For the first time this year, Dr. Harter’s practice served as a class sponsor, making it possible for us to provide 12 books and a tote bag to every student in a class during our May distributions.This sense of involvement in the community is an important facet of the Classic City Orthodontics team. They support the Children’s Book Series at the Classic Center, and are supporters of other service organizations such as The Junior League of Athens and Project Safe.”We at Classic City Orthodontics have a heart for kids because we specialize in orthodontics for children and adolescents,” Dr. Harter says. “We support charities that focus on issues that affect this age group. Books for Keeps is an important cause that works to build literacy among children, and they are making an enormous difference in our community. We plan to continue to support Books for Keeps with our annual fall book drive and also as a sponsor.”Dr. Harter’s commitment is also personal – he and his wife, Betsy, and son Gavin have been to the warehouse to help sort and box books. Members of the community who dedicate their time, energy, AND money are truly special [...]

By |June 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Class Sponsor: Dr. Tradd Harter: Classic City Orthodontics|