Fundraising underway for Books for Tots
Beginning its 13th year of providing books for needy children, Books for Tots has scheduled a fundraising event during this year’s Firefighters Chili Cook-Off Oct. 25 in Chickasha.
“To read a book for the first time is to make an acquaintance with a new friend; to read it for a second time is to meet an old one.” If this Chinese saying is true, then the Student National Education Association, Kappa Delta Pi, many USAO staff, faculty and students and community volunteers have introduced more than 41,000 new friends to area children through Books for Tots. These books would not be possible without the generous donations of community members, businesses, children and service organizations.
SNEA and KDP are once again spearheading Books For Tots. The goal is to equip local children with books of their own. To do this, the organizations have two upcoming events planned and are accepting monetary donations and donations of books.
The SNEA and KDP are scheduled to be at the 24th Annual Chickasha Firefighters Chili Cook-Off Oct. 25 at the Grady County Fairgrounds. They will be selling necklaces and baked goods to benefit Books for Tots.
On Nov. 1 the groups will be a part of the USAO Staff Association’s Garage Sale. The SNEA and KDP are scheduled to have a giant used book sale. All kinds of books – suspense, thrillers, novels, informational, historic, romance, classic and religious – will be for sale. The garage sale is scheduled 7 a.m.-noon in front of the USAO Bookstore at the corner of 17th and Alabama. All the proceeds go to Books for Tots.
“Seeing children engrossed in good books – laughing, crying, learning new information or just using their imagination -- is a wonderful thing,” said Dr. Jeanne Mather, professor of education and founder of Books for Tots. “Unfortunately, there are children in our communities who seldom get the opportunity to experience the adventure of reading a book they can call their own.”
“In addition to more than 41,000 new books, there have been thousands of used books donated to organizations that include Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Grady Memorial Hospital, Santa’s Workshop, Southwest Youth and Family Services, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Department of Human Services.
“Books for Tots does more than provide books to needy children. It demonstrates the caring, compassionate nature of people. Thus, the goals of the project are to promote reading, give children the joy of having a book of their own, teach and hopefully instill the value of altruism and community service in our children and, in short, make a difference in the lives of children,” Mather said.
In Dec. 2007, the organization distributed more than 6,300 new books to Oklahoma children in 14 Oklahoma counties, as well as more than 700 used books to organizations serving children.
“Our goal this year is to at least match last year’s numbers. With a poor economy and recession, this goal may be difficult to meet. However, in this type of economy, the need is much greater.
“Over the next few months we will be working to raise money through donations to purchase books which we will then distribute at Christmas to children in need in our community identified by community organizations such as the Department of Human Services, churches, schools, Salvation Army and Santa’s Workshop.
“All cash donations are spent on the children in the community. The students and faculty at the university all work on a volunteer basis with SNEA absorbing the printing costs. There are no administrative costs,” Mather said.
“Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. Through the efforts of many volunteers and countless generous individuals, businesses and organizations, we can once again help many children.”
Donations can be sent to Dr. Jeanne Mather, USAO Education Department, 1727 West Alabama, Chickasha, Okla. 73018. Checks should be made out to the USAO Foundation – Books for Tots.
Donations of new and/or good used books are also welcomed and may be dropped off in the Business Office on the second floor of Troutt Hall or in the Education Office, Gary Hall 206. “If you are unable to bring the books, call us at 405-574-1291 and we will be happy to pick them up,” Mather said.