One of my favorite childhood memories is my dad reading to me before I went to sleep. I can’t imagine what my childhood would have been without it. It was one of those origin moments that I can point to as the reason for why something is the way it is today (in this case, my love of reading). As seen by the huge success of LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow on Kickstarter, we all seem to know how important reading is for children so consider donating those dusty children’s books today through Zealous Good or any number of different outlets!
Before donating, run through this easy checklist to make sure that your donation gets received as well as possible:
- Are the books appropriate children’s material? As sure as I am that there are kids who enjoy Tolstoy’s War and Peace or Joyce’s Ulysses, it’s more likely that The Berenstain Bears or Corduroy are more suited for children.
- Are the books in acceptable condition? Regardless of the type, items that get donated should be in relatively good condition for the person that receives it. Think of the children!
- Are the books are empty? Make sure you take out anything that you might have propped in the book that has sentimental value (bookmark, love note, souvenir). Books typically get checked for that kind of stuff, but no one wants to lose that special memento from grandma or from their time abroad.
Now that you’ve made sure that the books are all set to be donated, if you’re in Chicago, donating can be as easy as heading over to the Zealous Good website. If you’re not, don’t worry! Here are a couple of suggestions for where to donate used children’s books that are most likely nearby:
You could donate used books by walking it over to your local public library or school! Make sure that you contact them beforehand because they will likely have their own acceptable donation guidelines as well as specific book types that they need more than others. For more information, use this directory to find local schools around you and this one to locate nearby public libraries.
In recent years, there has been a surge of charitable organizations that have worked to collect book donations in an effort to increase child readership. Again, make sure to reach out to these organizations first for the same reasons said above. These great groups could use your help in investing in the education of future generations! For reference, use this fact sheet from the American Library Association to find a local organization.
Remember, reading is the single most important skill that a child can learn. Do your part to aid future child development and donate!
Kevin Jun is a 2014 summer marketing intern at Zealous Good, an in-kind donations marketplace in Chicago. You can find Kevin on Google+ or Zealous Good on Facebook and Zealous Good on Twitter at @ZealousGood.