All Our Friends In Pittsburgh

First Book’s National Book Bank team just got home from Pittsburgh, where they boxed, labeled and shipped 400,000 books to kids in need all over the country, from Jacksonville to Santa Monica.

That’s a whole lot of books – five tractor-trailers full, to put it in perspective. The books all came from Disney Publishing Worldwide, and included some great titles, like ‘Island of the Blue Dolphins’, ‘The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks’, ‘Caterpillar’s Springtime Day’, and books starring characters beloved by many children, like Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse and Hannah Montana.

Shipping that many books in less than a week is a big job, and we couldn’t possibly have done it without the help of some great friends who came out to lend a hand. Volunteers like the local high school Key Club, college students, a Girl Scout troop (they were amazing on sticker duty) and service-minded individuals of all stripes. Not to mention the team from a local KPMG office, whose accounting skills were put to excellent use. KPMG is a major supporter of First Book, and we can always count on their local offices to help us out.

And, perhaps most importantly, our hosts at World Vision, a truly inspirational organization that provides badly-needed resources to children and families in the United States and around the world who have been victims of natural disasters, famine, war and disease. Because First Book has no warehouses, we rely on donated space to temporarily house the books donated to us by generous publishers, and World Vision stepped up to help out in Pittsburgh. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer, friendlier, more helpful bunch of people to work with.

The best part of our book distributions, though, is getting to meet some of the local schools and programs who take our books back to the children that they serve. They always thank us when we fill their trucks and station wagons with cartons of new books, but we tell them that they’re the ones who deserve the thanks. It’s a privilege to help them in the heroic work that they do to each and every day.

So hats off to Pittsburgh. We couldn’t have done it without you!

image of a young woman laying in the grass, smiling and reading a book. There is light blue boxes with purple text that say, 'Share Your Favorite Summer Read for Our New Online Album. Take a selfie with your favorite summer read and upload it by July 22 to celebrate our First Book family and the work we’re doing together! Send your selfie.'