By: Noelle Lambert
November’s Charity of the Month is:
The Book Fairies
The Book Fairies is an organization located in Freeport, NY. Six years ago, founder Amy Zaslansky heard about a classroom that had no books to offer to its students. Amy decided to start a book drive for used children’s books so she could hopefully be able to donate books to this classroom. By word of mouth and hard work, this drive took off and resulted in a final donation of about 3,500 books!
Driven by her desire to make a difference in her community, Amy later created The Book Fairies, a 501C3 non-profit. The Book Fairies accepts donations of new and gently used books, and connects them with libraries, schools, veteran organizations, soup kitchens and more organizations throughout all five boroughs and on Long Island that do not have the funds to foster the love of reading.
Reading materials can not only foster literacy and academic success, but they can also provide a respite from personal struggles and nature a love of reading across age groups. 50% of schools that this organization works with does not have libraries. 64% of fourth graders in New York State read below their grade level. Books can be expensive and many people do not have the funds to afford reading material. Thankfully, Book Fairies are there to help! Their first year as a non-profit, The Book Fairies collected 35,000 books. As of today, they have surpassed 1.4 million books collected!
They function out of their main office in Freeport, but they also work with 40 different special needs sites that pickup book donations and bring them to their office. Every book that they collect goes through sorting, their process of thoroughly examining the type of book and condition it’s in. With only 2 staff members, The Book Fairies heavily relies on the work of selfless volunteers, who generously give of their time to help this charity! The Book Fairies receive help from about 1,500 volunteers each year!
Because of their book donations, many people have been able to experience the joy of reading. One local school that received many book donations through this organization in turn saw their school wide reading level increase 400%!
If you would like to get involved with The Book Fairies, you can! They are in need of sorting volunteers to come to their Freeport location on one of their sorting days (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) and help sort through all their current book donations. First time volunteers will go through a brief training for about 10-15 minutes and then they can continue to volunteer without additional training as much as they would like. If you are 13 or older you can come alone and if you are younger than 13 you will need a guardian to accompany you. If you’re interested in volunteering as a sorter, there is no need to reserve your space. Simply show up at their Freeport location (70 North Main St. – Back Entrance) on one of their sorting days between 10AM and 3PM!
Additionally, book donations are always welcome! If you would like to donate books, you can do so at their Freeport location during those same sorting hours or you can drop off books at any time behind their office at their book-drop location. You can also visit one of their local book donation sites or arrange for your books to be picked up if you have five or more boxes of donations! Also, if you are interested in supporting their mission and donating financially, you can simply donate to their cause on their website at www.TheBookFairies.org/Donate.
Lastly, The Book Fairies is in need of corporate sponsors. If your business or organization would like to become a sponsor, the opportunity is available!
Please contact Rebecca Lakhani at Rebecca@TheBookFairies.org if you are interested in any of the above opportunities.
If you would like your organization to be featured in this column, e-mail Noelle@SouthBaysNeighbor.com!