2011 Book Distributions

The Books for Keeps Sort Room

Ah, the sort room… what can I say? How about: you have to see it to believe it.When Whatever It Takes offered me a space to sort and store books, I said Y-E-S. I wanted those books out of my dining room. A little cleanup was required; here’s what we started with.The sort room, pre-cleanup…… and the storage room, pre-cleanup.Marcus, Kuk-Kyoung and Brett, great guys from the UGA Volunteer Management program, came by and helped me clean it out and set it up. We have desks all along the walls for sorting books, and bins down the middle of the room for each category of books.Shawn and her assistants came by for a quick review of all the middle/high school books. Aside from the prison-like decor, it looks pretty good, doesn’t it?While they sorted, I moved in boxes in preparation for our first volunteer sort day. I’d never tried to teach anyone my sort methods… these brave souls offered to be guinea pigs.We had a second volunteer sort day but sadly, no pictures. It’s too bad, because that’s when things started getting crazy. While we sorted, people kept stopping by with more and more boxes of books. By the end of the day we could barely squeeze out the door.And then I went to Atlanta to fetch books from Stephanie, Polly, and Celia……and then Bayne brought in books from Terrie & Ashley’s URS book drive…….and then Molly brought by a last batch of books from the Athens book drive……and Leigh brought by a last batch of books from Rachel’s CDC book drive……and then the mail came…… and Leigh brought more books, and Linh brought [...]

By |November 10th, 2010|2011 Book Distributions|Comments Off on The Books for Keeps Sort Room|

Where do I even START?

I’m hoping y’all are believers in the Better Late Than Never philosophy. Or maybe I should pretend I’m not late in posting party pics… I could call it October Flashback. Well, here goes.We started the book drive with a kickoff party at Hendershots Coffee Shop.Several people had the guts to perform dramatic readings from children’s books. Kids gathered on the floor in front while parents sipped coffee & cocktails .Nathan is an actor, so his reading was especially dramatic. Tony Castro provided sound effects.The night was one big blur and I really hope I remembered to thank everyone. Most especially I hope I thanked Shayne for organizing the whole thing, and Leigh for providing the munchies.Fast forward to the end of October. For the wrap party, we took over the porch at Locos on Harris Street. Why the porch? Check out the weather.I’m telling you, I was near tears and convinced not a single person would show. I was wrong, and I’m still so grateful to everyone who braved the storm to attend.One one side of the porch we had pumpkin painting, with Sydney supervising to ensure kids painted ONLY their pumpkins…… and cupcake decorating, with edible monster parts. No run-of-the-mill cupcakes for these folks; Cathy K made gourmet, from-scratch, spectacular cupcakes popular with kids AND adults. Thanks Cathy!Bayne collected and counted books as guests arrived…Hughes, one of Locos’ owners, told a story about a witch named GitchieGoomie (I think)…Families took advantage of the $.99 kids meal…… and Books for Keeps got 2 more carloads of books. Thank you Shayne, Leigh, Cathy and Locos, for helping me pull together a Boooooook Drive [...]

By |November 10th, 2010|2011 Book Distributions|Comments Off on Where do I even START?|

They’re Heeeeere

The latest book in the Wimpy Kid series was released on Nov 7th, and our first copy arrived today. Thank you Will in Statham GA! As promised, a bookplate with your name will be put inside the cover.It’s no secret we get excited about Wimpy Kid books. One of Books for Keeps goals is to reach reluctant readers. What better way than to provide copies of the #1 kid-requested book out there? So, Will – you get your name on a bookplate and the satisfaction of knowing that one child in Athens will be jumping for joy upon receiving this book. Thank you!

By |November 10th, 2010|2011 Book Distributions, Shout Out|Comments Off on They’re Heeeeere|

Oh. My. Gosh.

I seriously don’t remember a four-week period where I’ve been so busy, so over-extended, and so stressed… well, without getting paid for it. But it’s so worth it! I’m reminded of a favorite George Bernard Shaw quote:”This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”The “force of nature” part, as applies to Books for Keeps, is not me – it’s you. Books for Keeps is gaining momentum at a rate I never envisioned and kind of can’t keep up with. Summer slide is the enemy and YOU are making Books for Keeps a force that is surely unstoppable.I woke up in the middle of the night agonizing over how many people I have not thanked properly for their help in the last month. Then it occurred to me: what a great problem to have. So many people to thank that it’s impossible to keep up. And I was reminded yet again, that gratitude is my favorite emotion.I have video (but no idea how to get it onto the web), pictures, success stories, volunteers and book donors … so much to tell you about. Two parties, two volunteer book sorting days, a Web site in the planning stages, upcoming book drives, a sort room that’s literally bursting at the seams with books, and some of the most generous, most incredible [...]

By |November 3rd, 2010|2011 Book Distributions, Shout Out|Comments Off on Oh. My. Gosh.|

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|