Cathy’s involvement with Books for Keeps started with a short email: “I can help.” What an understatement! There are several thousand books in happy new homes thanks to Cathy and her book-raising efforts, and her entire family of five volunteers for Books for Keeps. She took a day away from her job at Whatever It Takes (the organization providing our sort and storage rooms) to volunteer at our Alps book distribution. Here’s Cathy’s take on the day:

Hearing a collective gasp rise out of each and every class of students after Melaney tells them they will select and take home 12 books each is the most wonderful, heart-filling moment of book distribution day. The children’s faces are amazing to watch as their jaws drop and they start hopping around with the anticipation of choosing and keeping their own books. I wish that everyone who has sent in books, made a donation, volunteered their time and energy to Books for Keeps could watch and experience how wonderful it is for those books to arrive where they are supposed to be: with the kids.

The kids truly, truly appreciate what you all have given to them.

Their sense of ownership with the books is immediate.

Their happiness and excitement about reading their books is palpable.

These kids know what they want to read and they are thrilled when they find the types of books they want on those tables.

I loved helping girls find princess books, helping boys find the much treasured joke books and animal books. The kids are awesome and each class that came through the doors on book distribution day was an absolute pleasure to serve.

All the work through the year of finding books in the community, moving those books, sorting them, counting, boxing, and storing them was worth it.

These kids are worth every bit of effort that goes into the Books For Keeps program. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to be with those children, watch them pick their books, and know their futures will change. Thank you again, Melaney, for allowing me to help with this amazing work. I’m ready to start collecting books for May 2012!

Cathy Kemmerlin
Whatever It Takes staff
Books For Keeps friend