2016 has been bittersweet for local literacy organizations. It was the last book sale for Smith College, which held their annual sale in Timonium, MD for fifty-eigh years. The proceeds from this sale went to finance scholarships for Baltimore area women to attend Smith College.
It is also marks the closing of Books for America, which donated over 1,000,000 to the community for more than fourteen years.
Now, Books for International Goodwill in Annapolis, MD, which promoted literacy through the distribution of books locally, nationally and internationally for seventeen years, is closing their doors at it's current site. We hope that they will find another location to re-open their doors. They've been looking for a new / affordable location for a year.
These organizations brought millions of books to the community for little or no cost. There are people who would not have a single book in their home if it weren't for these organizations.
What can the community do to support organizations like these in the future?
- Call and offer your assistance.
- Host book sales and other fund raising events and donate a portion of the proceeds back to organizations which can provide you an abundance of free books.
- Provide them with a direct donation or endowment.
- Many hands make for light work.
Literacy is the tool to access all other education. Without literacy, it is nearly impossible to obtain an education. Individuals who are impoverished have limited access to books and some may not have a single book in their home. Organizations designed to get books into the homes of those in need are essential for breaking the chain of poverty and empowering people to take advantage of opportunities available to those who read.
At Velocity of Books, we have been reluctant to ask the community for financial support. We work hard to keep our expenses extremely low. This includes arranging office and storage space at no cost. Having free books delivered from our for profit literacy partners, opposed to paying to pick up the books whenever possible. There are still overhead costs, insurance, website, event materials and fuel are just a few expenses which can't be avoided. Make your donation to promote literacy today. We don't want to be a bittersweet story of the services we provided, but can't afford to continue promoting literacy.
In 2016 Velocity of Books:
Established a relationship with Discover Books, that now provides an endless supply of free books, which we distribute to the community. Discover Books is a for-profit online book seller, whose business model encompasses giving back to the community. This is inline with the core values of Velocity of Books.
We opened a book bank at Glenallan Elementary School in Silver Spring, MD, where we donated more than 6,000 books.
More than 17,500 books were distributed at events in both Rockville and Baltimore, Maryland.
Founders toured northeast USA and Canada promoting literacy and learning what other regions are doing to promote literacy so that they can share these ideas with other organizations which promote literacy.
Tens of thousands of books were given to elementary schools to fill their school libraries, classroom libraries, and for kids to take home and keep.
Thousands of books were donated, so that they could be shipped to Nigeria and Sierra Leon.
Velocity of Books received a Governor's Citation for our successful promotion of literacy.
Please help us continue to be of service to others. Whether you can make a monetary donation or not, your help is still needed. Whether you have a single hour to give; an hour a month or an hour a week. We will gladly accept your help.
Message from BCC PTA:
We will hold an extra SORTING ONLY day this Saturday, Dec 10th, from 10 am to 2 pm. We need your help to sort all the books that our generous community has donated during the past 3 books donation drop offs, and to prepare our used book sale staging area for our next (January 7th, 10 am - 2 pm) used books drop off day.
Students, parents and alums - no need to sign up, just show up. We will be in the basement at the end of the Cafeteria hallway - please note that UBS volunteers may need to be directed to enter using the door in front of the portable that leads directly to the basement since ACT will be going on at the school. Please watch out for our signs on the doors !
Students, yes SSL and CAS credits will be given.
Thanks on behalf of the Used Book Sale Committee,
We've seen seniors demonstrate a reversal of cognitive decline when they have constant access to books of interest. Now we're out to prove it.
We are interviewing researchers to implement our study on the reversal of cognitive decline with Alzheimer's patients . Once we have a well researched and documented study, we need to publicize our findings, so that the results become common knowledge.
The Rotary club (An international community service organization) of Silver Spring, Maryland has asked us to meet with them and discuss the options that they have to promote literacy in their community.
There were five organizations which presented to Rotary. They were MCAEL, CASA Maryland, Montgomery County Friends of The Library, Silver Spring Library and Velocity of Books.Read more
Baltimore Rock 'n Read was a massive success. We brought 15,000 books and gave out 10,000! We had fantastic weather and had no challenges there. The plaza of The World Trade Center was a great venue. It was a popular event, and exceedingly so at the end of the day. We had six volunteers, opposed to the sixty-four volunteers we had at the Rockville event. This forced everyone to work harder. The set up and breakdown took much longer with few volunteers.
There were additional challenges. JK Moving was unable to donate bookshelves for the event so it was necessary for us to buy our own shelves. Thankfully, Discover Books was able to pick up the shelves, tables and canopies from our office prior to the event. They delivered the materials to Baltimore with the books they donated. After the event, they loaded our materials in the truck and will deliver them back to our office. This was a tremendous help, and helped us avoid having to rent a truck, as we have in the past.
Although most of the materials were purchased for the prior event, we still had to purchase some material and do some preparation. We bought purple spray paint for our corn hole boards; helium and ribbon was needed to inflate and tie the balloons; cones to manage foot traffic, and portable speakers were need, as there wasn't electricity at the venue.
We made many connections at the event, such as teachers, principals and community leaders. One of the teachers was from Henderson Hopkins, a public school for underprivileged children. The following day, the teacher said that she'd talked to administrators from her school, and they were agreeable to accepting two pallets of books, or approximately 3,600 books.
Although the cost of the events have been great, they have made a fantastic difference in the community.