As the mom of two young children, I spend a lot of time reading children’s books. Between the books we own, and the library books we borrow, I’d guess we have over 100 children’s books in our home at any given time. Probably more.
So when I met Ginger Young, founder of the nonprofit organization Book Harvest, and she told me that 61% of America’s low income children have no books in their home, I found that hard to believe. Take a minute to envision a home with no books. No books lining shelves, no books strewn about on the floor, no books in sight. No Goodnight Moon, Cat in the Hat or Very Hungry Caterpillar. No Winnie the Pooh, Curious George, Peter Rabbit, Olivia, Piggie or Gerald. For me, it’s an almost impossible exercise. For Ginger, it was a call to action.
I was immediately struck by Ginger’s sense of purpose, her passion for the cause and her laser-focused mission to fix the “income-based book gap.” She told me about her progress, and I was impressed. In the last five years, Book Harvest has distributed over half a million books to children in need. Those books are going to children living right here in Durham, North Carolina, Written Word Media’s home and headquarters.
Being involved in our local community, and contributing to charity has always been important to Ferol and me. We believe that books are a force for a good in this world. Book Harvest knows that books can change the trajectory of a child’s life. They have the data and research to back it up. After that meeting with Ginger, we threw our full support behind Book Harvest. We became a sustaining donor immediately, and contributed our time and expertise where we could.
One day while meeting with Ginger , she told me “I have this book,” and she pulled out an illustrated manuscript of a children’s book. It wasn’t just a book, it was a book written and illustrated by acclaimed author Daniel Wallace. Daniel is best known for his 1998 novel Big Fish, the basis for the Tim Burton film Big Fish and the Broadway musical of the same name. He is a local hero to those of us residing in the Triangle. He lives in Chapel Hill, teaches at UNC and is an inspiration to students, artists and those of us who wish we were artists.
It turns out Daniel had generously donated the manuscript to Book Harvest! Daniel’s hope was that Ginger could use the manuscript to further Book Harvest’s mission. When Ginger asked us to help turn the manuscript into a book, we jumped at the chance to help. Over the past 6 months, Ginger, Daniel, and the team at Written Word Media have been working to transform this manuscript into a children’s book that will further the Book Harvest Mission.
In five days, a shipment of 500 hardcover copies of Daniel’s book, The Hole Story, will arrive in Durham. 100% of the proceeds from the book go to Book Harvest to continue to support their mission. The book is a unique gift for anyone with children ages 2 – 7, and you can feel good knowing that all the proceeds go to an organization with a great mission.
There are few ways to easily make a difference in a child’s life. This is one of them. I ask you to join me in supporting Book Harvest this Holiday season by purchasing a book at theholestory.org. Delight a little one in your life with this gift. Or donate your purchase directly to Book Harvest; they will ensure it will be held, leafed through and loved by a pair of little hands in Durham.
Thank you for your support.
Founder and CEO, Written Word Media