One Fan’s Campaign to Honor Her Favorite Book-Loving Celebrity

There is one woman who inspires Tesa Brand, a community volunteer and aspiring publicist from Fort Wayne, Indiana:

Kerry Washington.

Washington, the star of ABC’s Scandal, is an education advocate and avid reader. For her birthday last January, Washington started a campaign to provide books for kids in need by raising money through First Book. So when Tesa decided that she wanted to celebrate the woman who “inspires her every day,” starting a campaign through First Book in her honor was the obvious choice.

Not so obvious was the amazing response Tesa’s campaign would receive. In just two weeks the campaign exceeded its goal and received donations from all over the world.

Using her network of fellow Kerry Washington fans, or “Kerracters” as they call themselves, Tesa took to Twitter and promoted the campaign. From there, the campaign took off and Tesa could hardly believe the amount of support it received.

In total, Tesa’s campaign raised $4,000 to help spread the joy of reading. Through First Book campaigns, Tesa was able to identify and direct the funds raised to help specific schools and programs. To further honor her hero, Tesa chose three schools and programs that are near and dear to Kerry’s heart, including the Boys and Girls Club that Kerry attended as a child.

For Tesa, it is all about paying it forward and ensuring that kids have the same resources and opportunities she had.

I loved going to the library. The days we got to go to the library in school were my favorite days,” she says. “Books really are the key to everything in life.”

Whether you’re an aspiring publicist with a love for libraries or a movie star with a passion for storytelling, you can make a huge impact in your community or across the country by starting a First Book campaign today.

image of an educator reading to two kids from a picture book. There is text that says, 'Matching Challenge: Be a Champion for Educators! Your gift by May 31 can go twice as far to provide new, high-quality books and other resources educators need to help students unlock their full potential.' There is a red button in the bottom, right corner that says, 'I'll give now'.