Books = Food

Posted by organicneedle in charity, projects

Quite a few weeks back I had an idea to do a book drive through my son’s school, host a book sale of said books at the school, and then donate the proceeds to our local branch of the NYC Food Bank.  By doing so promote literacy, reduction through reuse, and community involvement.  Sounds good, no? Well…the PA turned it down…said they had way to much to do this far into the year…maybe next year.  The problem is the foods banks really need help NOW.  The city is facing up to 300,000 more layoffs…this round primarily in the working class/ minimum wage sector.  Meaning that many of the newly unemployed were living a paycheck or two above the poverty line to begin with.  Needles to say, I was a wee bit disappointed and didn’t want to wait.

Sbook eatingo what did little Ol’ Needle do?  What she always does…annoy her friends until they agree to do things they don’t want to do.  It’s a gift really.  So now we, my team of forced volunteers,  will be hosting the book drive/sale/fundraiser through our building.  And because the board does not want a donation box in the lobby…don’t get me started…we will be collecting in our apartments through a convoluted system of Morse Code and pigeons.  OK…maybe just an informative flier in the lobby.  We will then have a sale in our playground and donate the money as per original plan. It may not result in as big of a donation, but I’m optimistic.

So why am I telling you all of this?  Because YOU can do this stuff too.  Trust me…I have no special talents…besides the annoying the friends thing.  You can do this project.  You can get unwanted books back into circulation, support your food banks, and create awareness in your community.

I recommend a book drive for four crucial reasons:

1.  People tend to have books they no longer want/need but don’t want to throw them in the trash. So the supply of donations is usually good and the collection appreciated.

2. And here is the big one…people are willing to buy a used book.  Clothes, toys, kitchen gadgets can be hard because many people don’t want used from an unknown source.  But books are different.  There just don’t tend to be too many book recalls.  They are often in almost new condition when someone is done with one.  Plus…new book prices are insane and if someone is an avid reader…$1 a book is a dream come true.

3.  You do not need any special equipment, area, or display technique to sell them.  Seriously…any community center, church, school, garage, or front yard will do.  You can spread them out on tables or even blankets or organize them in a box.   No helium tanks, ovens, jackhammers, or circus clowns required.

4. What does not sell can easily be donated to community centers, schools, libraries, etc.  And the ones in really bad shape can be recycled.  No guilt or hassle of piles of waste.

So see…YOU…can do this.  Gather a handful of friends who are kind or that you have dirt on and make a plan.  Food banks across the country seriously need a helping hand.  And besides, it will give you an opportunity to unload that complete set of Pickled Fish of the World encyclopedias your mother-in-law gave you for Christmas.