Boston Cares

Today’s guest blog post comes from Patrice Keegan, the executive director of Boston Cares. Boston Cares mobilizes more than 25,000 volunteers annually in support of Greater Boston schools and non-profit agencies

As part of Boston Cares’ 9/11 Remember & Serve initiative, we developed a series of volunteer service projects to benefit Boston Public Schools, with a special focus on school libraries.  In planning the project, we consulted with Amy Short, the Director of Library & Media Services for the Boston Public Schools, who provided us with reading lists for all age groups.

Knowing that we were looking for a way to stretch our project budget, colleagues at Hands On Network put us in touch with FirstBook, where great pricing allowed us to purchase almost 3,000 new books!  We additionally purchased different sized rolls of a special plastic material that can be used to cover the new books.

On the morning of 9/11, 150 Boston Cares volunteers gathered at Boston City Hall to prepare the books for use in Boston Public School libraries.  We were honored that in addition to Amy Short, Mayor Thomas Menino  and Superintendant of Schools Carol Johnson were able to join us for the kick-off ceremony.

Workstations had been set up in advance, so when the volunteers arrived they could work in small teams to cut the plastic, neatly cover the books, and affix a label inside each one stating that it had been processed on the 9/11 National Day of Service & Remembrance.  Completed books were then packed up for easy transfer to their new homes in various schools.

Our goal for the day was to process at least 2,060 books – 10 in honor of each of the 206 people from Massachusetts who died 10 years ago on 9/11.  Our volunteers did such a great job that they were able to process ALL of the books purchased through FirstBook.