Labors of Love

Elizabeth Bluemle -- February 15th, 2013

Two lovely Valentines from yesterday:

First, I was invited to share my books with families at a special school fundraising event in a town about an hour away. Two of the children at the school are facing expensive medical challenges, and so an enterprising group of parents created a raffle and author storytime to raise some money to help. There were baskets of toys and books donated by local businesses, parents, and community members, and other raffle prizes. There were tables filled with Valentine-y treats for children to decorate and eat. There was an adorable little girl, age five or six, who earnestly counted out the exact right number of raffle tickets to give to each purchaser. And there were families. The reading was really fun, the kids were hilarious, and I got to judge, impromptu, which of several children had the greenest-dyed teeth from his Fun-Dip packet. I donated my visit, of course, and slipped signed books into the book gift basket, and bought raffle tickets I had no intention of redeeming. The two young children in whose honor the fundraiser was held were there, and it was great to see that there was no big deal made of the reason for the fundraiser. All the kids were just playing and having fun. I don’t know how much money was raised, overall, but the little baggie in the raffle ticket box was bulging with bills. I hope it was a bundle!

Lund Hanging HeartsSecond, we have been running a little fundraiser of our own, our annual book drive for a fantastic program started by the Lund Family Center. The Lund’s Kids-A-Part Program aims to keep families connected when a parent is incarcerated and works to lessen the negative effects of separation during a very challenging time in a family’s life.

See those red paper hearts hanging from the ceiling in the photo? Each heart has a picture book title on the back. Customers buy one of the books (at a discount), and we collect the donated books and give them to the Lund folks, who get them to the parents. The parents record themselves reading the book, then the children get both the book and their parent’s recordings of it. That way, they can have the comfort of hearing their parent’s voice reading them a story at bedtime – or, really, any time. Isn’t that a lovely idea?!

We are so happy to support this creative and meaningful program!

I hope you all had as lovely a Valentine’s Day as we did.

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