MARION, OHIO – Thanks to the hard work and dedication of more than a dozen local businesses and their employees, United Way of Marion County’s 4th Annual Stuff the Bus Book Drive netted over 3,200 books this summer!
The event, which held collections at 18 different sites, saw a 200% increase over last year’s drive. Books collected from the drive include everything from pre-K board books, to children’s pictures books, to novels for junior and senior high school aged children.
“Once again we are inspired by the spirit of sharing that has been demonstrated with the success of the book drive,” United Way of Marion County’s Executive Director Pam Stone said. “It just goes to show how much we can accomplish simply by turning to the person next to us, asking for help, getting organized and doing what we can.”
Volunteers counted, sorted, and packed the donated books for distribution at literacy projects throughout the county, including Help Me Grow and Head Start. A huge thank you goes to each of the businesses and organizations that made the drive so successful:
• DeWolfe House
• Marion Co. Children Services
• Marion Public Library
• Marion Star
• Marion Technical College
• United Way of Marion Co.
• Marion Community Credit Union
• United Federal Credit Union
• Huntington Bank
• United Bank
• Whirlpool Corporation
• Wyandot, Inc.
“This is another one of our strategies in promoting early learning and the importance of reading,” said United Way of Marion County Executive Director Pam Stone. “According to the Reading is Fundamental website, ‘Two-thirds of America’s children living in poverty have no books at home, and the number of families living in poverty is on the rise. Many public and school libraries are being forced to close or reduce their operating hours. Children who do not have access to books and do not read regularly are among the most vulnerable Americans.’“ She explained that Stuff the Bus is about providing access to books for these families.
Later this summer, Stone added, Marion County residents will see the introduction of a new county-wide, community driven initiative called Let’s Read 20, encouraging everyone to take the time to read to children 20 minutes each day in order to build a community of readers.