Monday, November 30, 2015

The Incarcerated Teen Book Drive...

So a few weeks ago, I went into Cook County Juvenile Detention Center to talk to some of the girls who would be participating in our forthcoming survivor testimonial writing workshop. I happened to bring a few copies of my books because I wanted them to see what came out of the workshop when I participated in it.

They signed up for the workshop, but more than anything, they were excited about the books. "We get to keep these? For real?" Their advisor told me they don't really get new books often, and sometimes they have to re-read the same ones. So I said, "Do you want me to put a call out to my author friends on Twitter and see if any of them might have a few paperbacks to donate?" Immediately she said, "Yes. That would be amazing."

Well, I put that tweet out and it got retweeted (the last I checked it was maybe 242 times?) and holy cow did the awesome YA community respond! Agents and editors and publishers and authors and bloggers and bookstores and readers and publicists. It was extraordinary.

And here is how it all played out...

I had to have a convo w/ my mail carrier (Thanks, Reggie, for giving me my own bin!)
This was delivered to my house on the 3rd day after my tweet

My kids were really into this project
The dog was less excited

And today I dropped off the first batch which they were thrilled about!
Batch #2 will be delivered in 2 weeks.

So I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who sent me books. I will do this book drive again next year. It means so much to me and to all the staff and teens at Cook County. You are all EXTRAORDINARY and make me believe in the goodness of the world.

A million thank you's to my donating friends!!! 


Sheena-kay Graham said...

Wish I knew about this before. Have a few books just sitting at home from a giveaway I had to cancel because of unforeseen circumstances. Let me know if you are still having this or next time. Sometimes I buy two copies of books so I can give one away. My way to thank the world for my freelance work taking off and me being able to make money independently for over a year now doing what I love. So awesome you did this for those kids and a huge thank you to all the contributors.

M.J. Fifield said...

Such an awesome response! I wish I had gotten my act together sooner. If you do another one, please be sure to let me know.

Rachel A. Marks said...

I'm SO glad to see all the support for this, Christa!!! I wanna do it again, so keep me posted if you ever need more books! :)

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