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In 2012, according to a Research Study on Textbook Recycling, there was an estimated 640,000 tons worth of books in U.S. landfills, approximating 320 million books. The books in these landfills are anywhere from destroyed to brand new. In our opinion, no matter their condition, the last place a book should be is in the trash.

Here’s the bad news: We can’t save every book from its untimely demise. But, the good news: We can save YOURS!

Our kiddos are always needing more books, and a book drive is a great way to collect both new and well-loved books. We love getting to watch the community come together and collect books from our kiddos, and they are so greatly impacted by it.

Here’s a guide to help you have a successful book drive:

1. Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Who are you asking?: This could be a small group (youth group, bible study, teachers in your school), or a large group (whole church, social club/organization, entire school district).
  • How are you asking?: Are you collecting books physically or electronically? If physically, you can place a box in the church or school lobby, or ask that books are dropped at your house or desk. Electronically could look like an Amazon wishlist, or an email sign up. What will work best for your audience? A single big event, or an extended opportunity?
  • What are you asking for?: Coordinate with PT as to what they’re needing for the summer. This could be curriculum books, early reader books, chapter books…

2. Plan your communication strategy & calendar 

A few things to remember:

  • Because PT kicks off summer training in May, we would love to have any books before then! (We need to code and organize them to get ready for the kiddos.)
  • Coordinate your calendar depending on the event type being planned (single big event or extended opportunity to donate).
  • Discern both main communication and secondary communication:
    • Main: Your initial and primary choice of communicating (in person or via email); main communication is more directed toward individuals
    • Secondary: Friendly reminders placed strategically for audience; this could be posters/fliers/ads in the bulletin, social media posts, a PT shirt Sunday, etc.

3. Collect your books

Tips on keeping books organized:

  • Count them as you get them – piles of books can grow fast and uncontrollably. Help yourself out early on and count as you go! (We’ll need record of how many books you bring, so we would also appreciate this step!)
  • Separate them out in a basic way (picture book vs. chapter book, many words vs. few words).
  • Help us filter books! Make sure books are appropriate for our kids content-wise, and are in good shape to be handled by elementary kiddos. See this blog for an easy guide to quality checking books.
  • Bonus: If you have a good guess about age groups, go ahead and give it a shot! We’ll love you for it. 🙂

5. Bring them our way 

Coordinate with PT to find out when we’ll be in the office to receive the books. Email me at: cassiesamuelson@ctcumc.org.

  • If at all possible, please bring them in boxes in order that we can store them safely and neatly!
  • Please write down how many books you bring and provide this for us (so that we can fill out an in-kind donation form).

6. Celebrate!

You’ve just collected and donated books that are going to be furthering the minds of children – what an AMAZING accomplishment!

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From us to you, thanks for all you do!

-PTCTX