When I was planning Oliver’s first birthday party over the summer, I changed my mind about a thousand times about the theme — eek, so many ideas! But one thing I always knew I wanted to do was to collect books for Kids’ Book Bank, an amazing organization that helps to put books in the hands of Cleveland children in need.
Our kids LOVE books and we read a ton every day. When we’re not reading together out loud, they can often be found just flipping through picture books alone — it’s so cute. Books and reading are a huge part of our lives, and it literally makes my eyes tear up to think of any little kid not having the opportunity to find joy in books the way my kids do. A whopping two-thirds of low-income families don’t own a single book. That’s heartbreaking.
While planning Olly’s party, I figured since many of our friends have children, they might have a book or two at home that they don’t need anymore. I put a little note in the birthday party invitations saying that we would be collecting new and gently used children’s books in lieu of gifts… I never expected that we’d get almost 90 books!! Our friends were so incredibly generous, bringing entire boxes of used books as well as new books too. We also got a few books as gifts for Olly that we fully intend to donate as soon as he outgrows them.
One of the ways that Kids’ Book Bank reaches children is with Little Free Libraries located all around Cleveland and suburbs. When we discovered that one of those libraries is in the park directly across the street from our old house in Ohio City, we just had to take a few special books there. (Bonus that we got to peek at our old house AND we stopped for Cleveland Bagel on the way!) We delivered the rest of the books to the main headquarters downtown.
I’m so glad we made the decision to collect and donate books to Kids Book Bank. It felt so good to drop those books off, hoping that they’ll be read and loved. And even though our kids are small, it meant a lot to us to be able to talk to them about the value of giving and have them see us donating the books. I’m hoping that this becomes something we can do with them on a regular basis as they grow.
Btw, how gorgeous is this gate to the community garden at Fairview Park?!