In 2008, First Book partnered with C&S Wholesale Grocers for the second year in a row. This time it was to bring the power of First Book to the community that C&S calls home – Keene, New Hampshire and the Monadnock Region of Southwest NH. In addition to being the home of C&S headquarters, Keene is a small rural community about an hour northeast of Boston, and just a few minutes from where I was born. To say I was excited to effect change near where I grew up was as an understatement, and with the help of my colleague Nicole Thompson and the hard work of First Book’s Keene State College Campus Advisory Board, we set out over the course of eight months to share the magic of First Book with children in Southwest NH.
‘Food for the Body, Food for the Mind,’ as the initiative is called, has now brought 50,000 new age appropriate books to the area, many of which arrived at organizations and schools just in time for the holidays. Thank you notes from First Book Recipient Groups in Southwest New Hampshire have been pouring in ever since. Here are two that remind me why I wake up every morning excited to go to work:
“I recently provided a 15 year old girl who was slipping in school and had been getting into some fights, with a First Book book. Several months ago when I found out that she was into the Dummies series relating to sports and coaching, I selected the book Open Court with her in mind. She came to me later, very excited, to tell me she finished it in just 2 days and wanted to tell me what it was about. She told me she later passed it along to friends who also enjoyed it. This single book has provided her with a positive and healthy way to interact with her peers. She has since received a couple of other books which she has begun to read as well. I hope to continue this relationship with First Book so that I may continue to provide more wonderful books to the youth that I serve.” – Lisa Wirth, Keene, NH Housing Authority Youth Services.
“We used our books from C&S and First Book to go along with our Holiday dinner boxes which contained everything a family needed for a holiday dinner at both of our sites in the Monadnock Region. Hundreds of local families had the gift of a new book to give to their children and grandchildren for Christmas (often from Santa). Without your kindness, many of these children wouldn’t have received a gift this holiday season — period. For 2009, we have a display of the remaining books, so new families can take a book for their child to nourish their mind as they receive vegetables and canned goods to feed their body.” – Mary Lou Huffling, Alstead, NH’s Fall Mt. Emergency Foodshelf.
Thank you C&S! First Book is proud to partner with C&S Wholesale Grocers on our mission to end illiteracy, one book at a time.