.

A big goal reached by BFK, and a big “thank you”

Thanks to these donations, we can take advantage of more deep-discount purchasing opportunities, like a pallet of 1,700 Disney books for $600! We have so many great books in the warehouse now – pallets are leaning over, and bursting from the bottoms!
Thanks to these donations, we can take advantage of more deep-discount purchasing opportunities, like a pallet of 1,700 Disney books for $600! We have so many great books in the warehouse now – pallets are leaning over, and bursting from the bottoms!

To our amazing community of supporters:

In November, Books for Keeps faced a daunting task – finding sponsors for nearly 1,200 children who still weren’t covered in our 2014 program. We had the books on hand – or the funds needed – to serve the rest of the 3,700 children we’re committed to reach in 2014.

Still, 1,200 children was a lot. We were talking about $30,000, or the funds needed to buy some 15,000 books.

Two major grants helped significantly reduce that number, including $2,500 from the Jackson EMC Foundation and roughly $9,000 to cover class sponsorships from a local family foundation.

But ultimately, meeting our goal would not have been possible without the widespread community support that we are so fortunate to have. The rest of those sponsorships – roughly $20,000 – came from individuals and businesses.

They saw a challenge, stepped up to meet it, and with us they reveled in watching the number of children needing sponsors get smaller with each passing day. Take a look at our Facebook gallery of cover photos chronicling this countdown to see what we’re talking about. It’s pretty remarkable.

Some folks gave $1,000 to sponsor two classrooms, or 40 children – and we were blown away by their generosity. Some people gave $10, noting that "every little bit counts" – and we were equally blown away by the support of these individuals with tight budgets digging deep to give what they could. Thank you to everyone who gave at these levels, and everywhere in between!

These gifts, large and small, each have their own significance and weight. Some friends and long-time supporters gave once, and then gave again – they eagerly wanted to help us meet our goal, and expressed such joy when we did it. Thank you, to all of those folks who embody such selflessness!

Many of our supporters went a step further – posting testimonials to Facebook, emailing friends or family, generally helping us get the word out. Your efforts had a multiplier effect, casting the net wider than it has ever gone to secure the support we needed. We watched donations come in from folks whose names we didn’t recognize – evidence that Books for Keeps’ support base is growing and diversifying.

We are now in a position to purchase the last 7,000 or so books we need to distribute a total of 45,000 in 2014. It would not be possible without you, your unwavering support, and your unfailing confidence that we would meet this goal.

To our community: we cannot thank you enough. You have sustained us, nurtured us, believed in us, and sometimes given until it hurts. We hope to take this trust you’ve placed in Books for Keeps, and to make it blossom in the form of children who are literate, who love reading, and who are prepared to read to succeed – in school and beyond.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2014 for Books for Keeps, and children in Athens and beyond!

*****

Books for Keeps would particularly like to recognize class sponsors who donated during the annual campaign: Lew & JoBeth Allen, Richard Boone, Georgia Power, Lacy & Tom Camp, the employees of Digital Insight, Willard & Patti Hale, Amy & Jim Stallings of jstallings.com, Wanda White, and four anonymous donors who sponsored a total of eight classrooms.

The following class sponsors donated prior to the year-end campaign, and we’d like to recognize their contributions as well: Bob CarsonSoutheast Regional Credit Union SchoolCelia Baker of IntelliGRACS Group,  Gresham Real Estate AdvisorsCircle 3 Women’s Group of Athens First United Methodist Church, and one anonymous donor who sponsored one classroom.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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