"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Friday, November 14, 2014

Literature in the News: Teen Creates Book Charity

I thought this was interesting, and this young lady needs a fair amount of accolades.  From the U-T San Diego, which I assume is a San Diego newspaper:  “Teen turns passion for books into charity: Rancho Santa Fe's Sarah Lackey, 16, started the nonprofit Books for Friends, which provides free books to underprivileged children.”

You wouldn’t know it now, but when 16-year-old Sarah Lackey was in grade school, she was so painfully shy that she had no friends. Instead, she found solace and companionship in the world of books.

“When I was kind of alone, books were my escape,” she said. “Whenever I read, I went somewhere else. I didn’t have to think about my problems and books inspired me to do more with my life.”

In elementary school, Sarah would devour at least a book a day and would stay up late every night reading in bed with a flashlight. Over the years, her parents, Joseph and Stacy, were able to keep up with their daughter’s voracious habit by providing her with a steady stream of new books. But the growing stacks of novels around their Rancho Santa Fe gave Sarah an idea.

“Since books had always been an inspiration for me, I wondered about kids who couldn’t afford to buy books,” she said. “I thought that every kid should have the same opportunity to read, regardless of their situation.”

Since that day two years ago, the Cathedral Catholic High sophomore has collected and donated more than 8,000 books for local elementary schools, children in foster care, women and children in homeless shelters and for The Monarch School, which serves at-risk youth. She has also collected more than $5,000 in donations through Books for Friends, her recently incorporated nonprofit that uses 100 percent of donations on books.

Here I am at 52 years old and I wouldn’t have a clue on how to create a non-profit organization.  Her organization is actually a 501(c)(3) corporation.  And look at that, she goes to Catholic school to boot.  Here’s how she got started:

After her family moved to Rancho Santa Fe four years ago, she made a lot of friends at R. Roger Rowe middle school. While serving for two years on the school’s student council, she began organizing book drives. More than 2,500 books were donated to the foster care group Promises2Kids, and hundreds more were used to fill the shelves of the new library at The Monarch School campus, the school confirmed.

Since moving to Cathedral Catholic, Sarah has held another drive that raised 500 books and has two more planned in the spring. She has encouraged friends and family to host similar drives in Northern California and Georgia, and she has expanded donations to four area schools, including Solana Highlands Elementary in Solana Beach.

Now that is enterprising.  This young lady has got a future.  She has a website as well, Books For Friends.  

What do you do with your old books?  I hope you don’t say you throw them out.  Of the books I can depart with—and I have a problem getting rid of things, especially books—I donate mine, either to the local library or a Nursing Home.  I hope you do the same.

I see on her website that Books For Sale takes donations.  I’m going to send Sarah a small check.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful story and what an enterprising and kind person this young lady is. I'll check out her website.

    When I was young I loved and benefitted from books too. I used to stand on them to reach the cookie jar on the shelf. They were food for the mind as well as the stomach.

    God bless.