What would you do if you became destitute and your washer and dryer broke? Let's say you lacked the means to buy new units. Imagine loading your family's dirty clothes into a borrowed car or Uber (if you're lucky you'd have your own transportation) and taking the bags and baskets to a nearby laundromat. Oh, and you have to take your kids because nobody can watch them. What could your kids possible do to while away the time while you spend time doing the laundry?
Families that do this all the time, in general, are unable to purchase or find books for their children. For the past couple years, Sparkle Clean Laundromat in Clementon has distributed thousands of BookSmiles books to their customers' children. I started supplying them because I was motivated by the Laundromat Library League. This organization distributes books to dozens of laundromats in the Delaware Valley. And recently BookSmiles had the chance to present the LLL with 1,000 books, picked up by volunteer Karen Hamilton! She is the BookSmiles Book Bank's first pickup. Hundreds of kids waiting in laundromats will be able to READ and KEEP their favorite books.
This article from The New York Times documents the emerging books-in-laudromats/barbershops movement!
We had another first as well. Gina Foody, a teacher at Kingsway Middle School, brought her daughter Katie over to the book bank at 1879 Old Cuthbert, Cherry Hill to sort for a few hours. Gina is a force of nature. For two straight years, she inspired her students to do drives that yielded nearly 10,000 books! Yes, we teachers can do major things for literacy outside of the classroom!
I'm THRILLED to announce we have moved out of my garage and into the BookSmiles Book Bank at 1879 Old Cuthbert Road in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Angelique Girard, a rising senior at Kingsway Regional High School brought the Book Bank's first donation and my son helped me hump 103 large cases of books.