"I don’t know if I’ll be here long enough to read all of these and give them back."

First Book distributes millions of books a year to schools and programs around the country. If you’ve ever wondered where they go, and what kind of impact they have, Ellen Finan, a local First Book volunteer in Trumbull County, Ohio, wrote today to share this story of a little girl at a domestic violence shelter in her community who received books from First Book:

She is seven years old, and has been shuffled around to several locations over the past six months. She had been in and out of several different school districts, and is very frustrated over leaving her friends and her family. I was able to find several [First Book] books on her level — some for fun and some with a life lesson.

When I gave her the books, she looked up at me and said, “I don’t know if I’ll be here long enough to read all of these and give them back.” I shared with her that these books were for her to keep, and they now belonged to her.

She carried those books around with her everywhere she went. I would always see her sitting in a corner to read. She may not have the best of everything, but she was able to use her creativity and imagination to transport her to the world of books.

She has since left the shelter, taking with her a backpack full of books. She and her mother recently called me to share that she made the honor roll and received an achievement for reading.

Volunteers like Ellen and the staff at that shelter are doing everything they can to improve the lives of this little girl and thousands like her, at local programs around the country. Help First Book reach every one of them with the new books that will make a difference.

With your help, First Book is making a difference in the lives of kids in need.