September 13, 2012

Our Big Help Book Drive - Part 2 #NickCFK

Last week I told you how Kayla and were putting together a Big Help Book Drive through Champions For Kids. If you missed that you can check it out here: Our Big Help Book Drive Part 1 and see how I went shopping for some books to kick it off

I can't say enough how this cause - collecting books to donate to children whom otherwise would likely go without them is incredibly near and dear to my heart.   The donations we collected went to the  Bayview Children's Center.

Last year, they were able to enroll up to 72 children in their program which provides childcare to low income families and parents who are out of work, but looking for employment.  This year, due to funding and budget cuts they could only accept 48 children into their program, so you can imagine there isn't too much money for materials for the kids.  I spoke with the director of the school and it was clear that one of their classrooms was really hurting for books.

#NickCFK, Big Help Book Drive, Champions For Kids

So after shopping for books to kick off our donation box Kayla and I had the task of weeding through our living room bookshelf to see what books  we could live without.  This was a nice teachable moment for me to explain to Kayla that not every child has a living room (and a bedroom) filled with books and toys.

Kayla didn't quite get the concept at first - she asked if her friends at school were the ones without books and I explained that like her  most of them were very fortunate and had plenty, but that there were other schools where not all of the children had enough books so they could read bedtime stories with their parents.  She gave me her deep-in-thought face and then said "okay mommy, I'll give them some books."

#NickCFK, Big Help Book Drive, Champions For Kids

We picked out a whole bunch of books that my spoiled, but hopefully not rotten child could go without.  At first, she had a hard time parting with any book that I picked up, insisting that she needed it but after a few minutes she got over that and got into the spirit of giving.

In the midst of all this, my neighbor who is like another grandparent to Kayla and happens to be a retired teacher called asking what we were up to.   I explained what we were doing and she immediately volunteered to go through her bookshelves at home.   The very next morning delivered this shopping bag filled with children's books!  Our book drive was off to a great start.

#NickCFK, Big Help Book Drive, Champions For Kids, Donation

My next project would be to create a donation bin for all the books at Kayla's school.  It was a hectic week at home. With Labor Day weekend cutting into my work week I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to get incredibly creative with our donation bin, but I tried to create something eye catching that got the message across - donate your books for kids who need them!

Kayla and I finished it up together, brought it to school and put it right in the central courtyard where everyone would see it.  We only had a few days to collect as many books as possible so I was a bit nervous as to whether we would hit our 48 book goal.

#NickCFK, Big Help Book Drive, Champions For Kids, donation

Let me be pushy for a moment and say that if you have the time to pitch in and organize a #NickCFK Big Help Book Drive I think this is such a great way to give back and encourage others to do so in an easy way.  Sticking a box at Kayla's school was all I had to do.   I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support.  I even had parents from school calling to thank me for setting this up because it gave them an excuse to clean out their bookshelves and know that it was going to a good cause.

#NickCFK, Big Help Book Drive, Champions For Kids, Donation

I'm happy to report that we collected 87 books in just a few short days!!!  One for every child and a bunch more for the classroom!  Every morning Kayla loved helping me bring out the donation bin at school and reminded me that some friends have books and some friends don't have books, so I guess this exercise is getting through to her even if she is only 3.

#NickCFK, Big Help Book Drive, Champions For Kids

Our donations covered the entire kitchen table as I counted them with Kayla and were piled 2 or 3 deep.  It was really amazing to see just how much everyone was willing to give!  It felt awesome to pack these up and head over to the Children's Center to donate them.  First I put them all in a big plastic storage bin and then I realized I couldn't possibly lift it myself so I had to split the books up into a bunch of bags.

#NickCFK, Big Help Book Drive, Champions For Kids

The office staff at Bayview Children's Center were SO grateful for these books.  After watching the kids there running around on the playground for the last few years it feels awesome knowing that I'm doing something to help make their lives just a little bit better.

Trust me, you can do the same.  The collection and donation of these books took less than 2 hours of my time and will affect 48 children in a positive way.  It took longer to write this post than it did to actually facilitate those donations!

#NickCFK, Big Help Book Drive, Champions For Kids

Still interested in learning more about how to get involved?  So glad to hear it!  You can check out Nickelodeon on Facebook and Twitter to see more about the Big Help Book Drive and you can keep up with Champions For Kids on Facebook and Twitter as well to learn about all of their great projects to benefit kids.

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Champions for Kids. #NickCFK #CBias as always, everything you see here is my personal (and very picky) opinion and I was honored to participate in this charitable event!
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