This past week provided me with an awesome opportunity to pay it forward. I was contacted by a woman named Michelle who's running a library in Roanoke, Virginia, for under-privileged kids and teens.
Here's a small part of what she told me:
“About a year ago I started a literacy group for inner-city kids. In the public housing system here in Roanoke, VA, there are a number of developments in the city that are near public libraries. There are also a few that are not near one. I (through some hard life situations) moved into one of the developments that is not near one. It's been a few years that I have lived here and after getting back on my feet and then wanting to become involved in the community, and based on my love of reading and my children's love of reading, we decided to start an amateur library onsite. Connected to the manager's office is a small cafeteria of sorts that we use as a community center. After giving the site manager my idea and after polling the families that live in the complex, I found that there was a great need for books. I tried to get funding and hit many brick walls, so I decided to rebudget my finances and fund the library myself. I have been running it one day a week for a year now and it is a great success! Barnes and Noble made some donations too! We don't have a lot of books but what we have the kids share and take care of and have really developed a love for literature. We have children as volunteers as well! Beyond all that I try to still buy books for the kids based on requests and also based on what I read as well (I only read children and teen literature).”
Talk about paying it forward! As soon as I read Michelle's note, I was inspired to get involved with this project, and I immediately shipped a box of books and bookmarks to Roanoke. I know many of you who read this blog are avid readers and booklovers, and if you're looking for a great way to spread the love of books to children and teens, and want to donate a book or two of your own, I'd be happy to share Michelle's address. You can reach me at becca at beccafitzpatrick dot com.
That's what I've been up to. What about you? Are you living your Five?