East Bay Children’s Book Project

This hidden gem with the purple door in the heart of Oakland was a no brainer when looking for a cause to donate books to for my book drive.

East Bay children’s book project collects new and gently used donated books and provides them to educators, day care providers, pediatricians, social workers, basically any professional that works with children who may not have access to books. My mother is an educator so I grew up with a book in my hand at a very young age. I couldn’t imagine not being able to read what I want, when I want.

So it was on my heart to donate to this cause because it was allowing me an opportunity to spread the wonderment that books have brought me throughout my life.

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When I first walked in I was greeted by Anne, one of the founders of the Children’s Book Project. She graciously welcomed me inside thinking I was a professional gathering books as she urged me to sign in. Once I told her I was there to donate, her smile widened and she asked if I would need a dolly, which I proudly did. (Thanks to all of you guys and your generous donations!!!)

As these small framed but mighty spirited ladies helped unload boxes of books from my car I couldn’t help but to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for their selfless work.

Not only do they all volunteer their time and efforts, some driving quite a route to get here each week, but they do it for one common purpose—to keep books in the hands of kids.

As they sifted through the books and divided them into categories I sat and listened intently while they shared stories with me. Stories about how they watched how a single book change a child’s day, or how giving a less than fortunate Spanish speaking child a bilingual book has helped their entire family learn to read. They also donate books to the buses that take children to the penitentiaries to visit incarcerated family members so they have something to read on their journey. I felt so fortunate to be surrounded by a group of professionals who all had a similar passion and purpose.

I perused around the building looking at the different categories and age groups they offer books for. I came across a table labeled “Hot Picks”. This table consisted of books that flew off of the shelves. Oakland, as most of you well know, is a melting pot of culture and diversity so bilingual and multicultural books are selected very quickly by the professionals that come here for literary goods. Wendy, another one of the gracious women donating her time, explained which categories were hot commodities to the teachers that come here each week. I also had the pleasure of speaking with a reading coach who told me that she’s been coming to the East Bay Children’s Book Project for years and has probably acquired 4000-5000 books that she’s been able to place in the hands of her students.

The energy there was heartwarming and good natured. It was impossible to be in there without catching a contagious vibe. I will definitely be working with them again in the foreseeable future and invite you all to come along with me.

I walked in simply to donate books but I walked out with more than I came with. I left with encouragement, confidence, a full heart, and a solidified purpose.

Thank you to each and everyone of you women that I had the pleasure of meeting, speaking with, and giving hugs to. You are all QUEENS in my eyes and I admire the work you do for the kids in the Bay Area.



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