The GIFT Fund Library awarded to Isabelle's Book Club - right out of the box!

The Library awarded to Isabelle’s Book Club

“They don’t have any possessions. By giving kids books, they have something to call their own, wherever they end up living. The books offer a reprieve from their situation and a means to strengthen their academic skills.”

Denise Ray is the founder of Isabelle’s Book Club, an organization dedicated to giving books to children with parents in jail or prison.

According to Ray, “The question then became how to get the books to the kids. One solution was the obvious trip to jail or prison during family visitation. However, not all kids can visit the facilities…the other idea was to have books available to kids while they’re at school. This type of availability takes away the stigma of a more public distribution.”

Ray applied to receive a sponsored Library from Little Free Library this spring; to her delight, a few weeks later she received an email stating that she had been approved and a Library was in the works! She decided to install it in the local elementary school’s counselor’s office and stocked it with children’s books, generously donated by the local community.

Photo courtesy of littlefreelibrary.org

“We left the Library in its original, beautiful decoration. Its simplicity makes perfect sense because our program is simple: #KeepReading. By sharing this generous gift, we have been able to show what Libraries look like, encourage others to donate one and get more books in the hands of more kids…I’m touched to see a near-empty Library because it reminds me that we are helping the members of this invisible population.

Ray added “Since we encourage kids to keep the books and we ask for suggestions for future deliveries, we hope we are encouraging the children to feel empowered and in control of some part of their life.”

Stay tuned for more stories of  how your generous donations are making a direct impact in communities around the world.

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