by BFK Executive Director Leslie Hale

If your family is like mine, the week surrounding Thanksgiving is spent with one foot in two mental worlds – the chaos of concentrated time with extended family, and the warmth of reflecting on the blessings we’ve received and shared with others.

That’s why I love Giving Tuesday.

During this decade, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving has grown as a focal point for sharing these blessings – a way to pay forward the abundance we’ve received in our own lives, while starting the giving season off right. Maybe it’s just because I’m not much of a Black Friday shopper, but I adore the very idea of a day focused on what we can do for others – all of it following the excesses of food, drink, and shopping that come with Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

This year’s Giving Tuesday falls on November 27. As we have in the past few years, Books for Keeps will use Giving Tuesday as an official launch for our year-end child sponsorship campaign. For 24 hours on that day, we will have a challenge in effect from the Books for Keeps board to bring in as many donations as possible toward a single goal. For each dollar we raise toward that goal, the Books for Keeps board will match those donations.

We’ll be ready to announce our goal a little closer to the date – for now, just mark your calendars. It’s a terrific opportunity to double your dollars donated to BFK – effectively sponsoring two children for every $30 you donate.

We have put these challenge goals on the table in the past, but this will be the first time our fundraising challenge is being put up by our board – all of whom represent communities we serve.

This day is an important one to us because it kicks off a time of year that can be make-or-break for Books for Keeps. The amount we raise at year-end is critical in determining how many children we’ll be able to serve the following spring. It was on the strength of 2017 year-end fundraising that we were able to add nearly three schools and 2,000 children to our spring program – more than $60,000 raised over a six-week period.

Meanwhile, our program manager, Justin, will be hosting volunteer groups in the warehouse on that day. For folks who can’t give financially, there are so many other ways you can give to students in our community. Your time is a precious resource to us – and we’d love for you to spend the day with us helping sort books for kids in need.

Other ways you can give back on that day: host a book drive, clean off your book shelf to donate gently-used books (for kids of all ages or adults!) to us, host a Facebook fundraiser to encourage your friends to give, or share your testimonial with us about why books are important in your life or the life of someone you love. We’d love to hear from you now about why you give, or anytime during this upcoming giving season – email

There are so many ways to help. How will you give?