This morning, there was a knock at my office door. When I opened it, standing in front of me was a box of books… with legs (and a few more on the ground, without). Gail Craven read Katie’s story yesterday and decided to help. She’s in the business of helping, you see. A teacher at Colfax Charter Elementary in Studio City, Gail is also the Executive Director of the Turning Pages Foundation, a nonprofit in support of literacy, enrichment and leadership programs in local and global communities. Having recently organized a successful community book drive, Gail is now donating a good deal of these books to Katie’s learners in South Africa.
I am personally so grateful and so heartened by this. Sure, it’s all small beans if you start to compare, but who’s to say what the value is of a cycle such as this — a recent college graduate uproots herself to be of use somewhere where she’s needed, she reaches out to a bunch of people who like to read, they in turn reach out and are met by the open palms of members of a community that is just dying to help wherever and whomever it can. We’re only talking about a few boxes of books here, but just one of these books could be the sole thing a man or woman in South Africa will one day point to as the beginning, the source of meaning, of purpose and of hope.
Please visit the Turning Pages Foundation website here, and consider volunteering, helping out in any way. Whether you’ll donate a book, funds, mentor a child, help set up the stand at the Farmers Market where they sell plants, encourage your children to participate… whatever you want, however big, however small.
Also, and this is for those of you who eat food, the Whole Foods in Sherman Oaks on Riverside Dr. will be donating 5% of all of tomorrow’s profits to the foundation. You buy groceries, a bunch of kids get help with their math homework. Please shop there tomorrow, April 4th, if you have shopping to do. It’s a multidimensional win-win if ever there was one.
Last but certainly not least, thanks to all of you who’ve donated, those whom I haven’t thanked personally, those of you who leave behind sacks of books anonymously… thank you!