We’re going at a terrific pace in the BFK warehouse, getting thousands of books ready to distribute to the children we serve. To date, volunteers have helped box 35,000 books for May distributions – and we have about 18,000 to go. Wow!

boxing progress 02.20With all of that activity, you’d think we wouldn’t be bringing additional books into the warehouse right now. Think again! As soon as distributions are over, we must start preparing for next year!

That means fund-raising, buying new books, and finding donated books.

That’s why our March Book Drive Month is so important! Bringing in new donated books helps us accomplish all three goals. Book Drive Month is under way, but it’s not too late to host your own book drive – so read on!

First, and most obviously, Book Drive Month brings donated books to our program. Used books will find a new home and a new life in the hands of children who might not otherwise own a single book. And the donated books that do not go to our program – because they are adult titles or because they are too old or worn – will go to our book sale.

The BFK Book Sale, held in August, is our biggest annual fundraiser. It raised $20,000 in 2013, money that supports our efforts to buy books for children in Athens and beyond.

FreemanHosting a book drive allows participants to gather new books from our wish list, as well as the donation of used books for both our program and our book sale. It’s a great way to encourage friends and co-workers to clean out home libraries in the name of fostering literacy in their own community.

How it works

It can be as simple as putting a collection bin or box in your office break-room or waiting area with a sign, and letting folks know it’s there through email or flyers. We can provide the signs and flyers – even the bins. Some book drive hosts have taken a more active and creative role, however.

Hold a book driveDrive participants have hosted neighborhood get-togethers, encouraging friends and neighbors to stop by an open house for doughnuts and coffee and to bring donated books when they come.

Others have organized friendly competitions among student groups or book clubs, seeing who can collect the most donated books.

In October 2013, one enterprising young Books for Keeps volunteer, Abby Blackmon, put collection bags and a note in every mailbox in her neighborhood. The note explained why she was collecting books and that she would come pick them up from front porches and doorsteps. By the end of the month, Abby had collected an astounding 2,000 books through her own efforts.

Ultimately, whether you collect 20 books or 2,000 books, we will be thrilled. Your efforts make a huge difference in the life of a child (or two or 10 or 100!) Email Leslie to sign up your book drive and get help with flyers, signs, and email language promoting your drive.

Thank you to our March Book Drive Month hosts!

Can’t host a drive yourself, but you have books to donate? The following businesses, groups and individuals are hosting book drives this month to benefit Books for Keeps.

In the Athens area:

Burton + BURTON

Athens Lions Club #7431

Students United for Public Education @ UGA

University of North Georgia – Oconee Campus

In the Atlanta area:

Cathedral of Christ the King

Navy Federal Credit Union (four branches: Buckhead, Alpharetta, Snellville, and Stockbridge)

Norcross 5th-grade Girl Scout troop

Jessica Adams and her family