Check your shelves! Project READ wants your books

Project READ has been providing literary services for children and adults for more than 30 years. CONTRIBUTED
Project READ has been providing literary services for children and adults for more than 30 years. CONTRIBUTED

There’s lots of news about Project READ, the group that’s been providing literary services for children and adults for more than 30 years. The mission? To give new readers the joy of exploring the world through books.

Last fall, the nonprofit became an all-volunteer organization with an enhanced focus on book collection and book re-distribution throughout the metro Dayton area.

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“Since 2008, Project READ has developed a group of supporters who have helped provide the books needed to fuel this wonderful donation machine,” says board president Tom Farnbacher. “Over the past few years, college sororities, grade schools, churches and teams of individuals have run book drives for Project READ. Sometimes civic organizations or companies will put out Project READ portable donation boxes to collect books for 30-60 days in their offices, churches, schools or stores.”

Once books are collected, Project READ volunteers sort, clean and organize books into reading categories and into various grade levels ranging from pre-kindergarten through high school levels for readers. Over the past 12 years, more than 175,000 books have been given away. Donations have gone to schools, nonprofit organizations, teachers and literacy groups.

Once books are collected, Project READ volunteers sort, clean and organize books into reading categories and into various grade levels ranging from pre-kindergarten through high school levels for readers. CONTRIBUTED
Once books are collected, Project READ volunteers sort, clean and organize books into reading categories and into various grade levels ranging from pre-kindergarten through high school levels for readers. CONTRIBUTED

A turning point

It’s going to be a big year for Project READ: The organization is hoping to increase donations to Dayton-area recipients from 15,000 books a year to over 50,000 this year and as many as 100,000 in 2022.

“This significant increase in donation capacity is due to a new partnership with The Foodbank,” explains volunteer Chip Houghton. “Grade level sorted books are now distributed directly to families through local food pantries supplied by Project READ. We anticipate this program to grow exponentially over the next several months.”

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Our food pantries have found the book donation program easy to implement and one that is well received by the families our pantries serve,” says Lee Truesdale, chief development officer for The Foodbank. “Many families find themselves in need of emergency food assistance during this season. High heating bills, extended distance learning, and job cuts impact a family’s food budget and takes a mental toll on those we serve. Using the Project READ book program helps parents cope with the stress of quarantine and the limited social interaction with friends that their children have experienced this past year. New books on a regular basis seem to be just what the doctor ordered.”

Here’s how you can help

To help fuel this increase of community support, Project READ is looking for book donations. You can donate books or coordinate a book drive. You can also provide financial help.

All books are accepted to make it easier for donors. If the project can’t use specific books, they will be donated to a recycling center so nothing gets wasted.

Most wanted books include:

  • Children’s
  • Fiction
  • Textbooks
  • Education
  • Mysteries
  • Cook Books
  • DIY/ Hobbies

Book donations can be made at one of the Project READ donations bins available across the Dayton area or directly at the Project READ book donation center (with friendly unloading help from volunteers) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday at 661 Lyons Road.

After-hours donations can be dropped off at one of the two collection bins in front of the Lyons Road book donation center and the partner Bookstore at Antiques Village. The bookstore, which had been closed in recent months for reconstruction, has just reopened. ”Customers will see a huge influx of new books over the next few months and we are planning many instore promotions for reopening,” says Houghton.

Other book donation bin locations can be found on the Project READ website at www.Project-Read.org. Large donations can be picked up by coordinating directly with Project READ.

Financial Donations and inquiries can be mailed to Project READ, 661 Lyons Road, Dayton, OH 45459 or visit the website at www.project-read.org.

If you’d like to organize a book drive, contact Lana Jones for more information at (937) 949-8159 or ProjectReadDayton@gmail.com.

Do you sew?

In support of patients who are going through cancer treatment, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is in need of volunteers to sew “port pockets” into LLS T-shirts.

Cris Peterson, campaign development director, says all supplies are provided as well as the instructions. If you can help, please contact Halee Mollette, campaign manager at 937-216-8572 or halee.mollette@lls.org

Although the organization’s offices are currently closed, financial gifts and gift cards are welcomed and can be mailed to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 5818 Wilmington Pike, PMB 300, Centerville, OH 45459.

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Locally the LLS does three major fundraising campaigns — Light the Night, Students of the Year and Man & Woman of the Year. The Man & Woman of the Year grand finale is going to be virtual on May 14. For more information or to donate to one of the candidates you can visit mwoy.org/mwoy-dayton-0. The group is hoping for a modified in-person Light the Night Walk on Sept. 30 at Lincoln Park/Fraze Pavilion in Kettering.

For more information on signature events, patient assistance programs or LLS, visit www.lls.org.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: meredith.moss@coxinc.com.

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

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