You can change the world, 1 book at a time.

by Marta Mahoney, Assistance League of Irvine, Volunteer

You may find this hard to believe, but I haven’t been to the thrift shop for ONE WEEK. That’s because I’m in Washington, DC on vacation. Being in Washington is an amazing experience for someone like me who loves history. Seeing the White House, the Capitol, the monuments, and the museums really connects you to the past. You realize that even if you were an average office worker wandering around on your lunch hour, you could be walking in the footsteps of Washington or Lincoln.

One of the tours I’ve done is the walking tour of the Library of Congress. (It’s a beautiful building, and I highly recommend this tour if you go to Washington.) The Library of Congress was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who donated his personal library to start it. In those days there were no public libraries, and many people were illiterate. But our Founding Fathers believed in the power of reading and the need for a national library. Today the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with over 38 million books and 164 million total items!

This struck a chord with me because at ALI, we also believe strongly in the power of books. Every child in our Operation School Bell program receives a book to take home (along with school clothing and supplies). They choose a book from a selection of grade-appropriate fiction and non-fiction books. For some of these children, it’s the first time they’ve had a book of their own.

This is where you come in, readers! We’re currently holding a book drive to stock up on children’s books for OSB. You, too, can be like Thomas Jefferson and donate a book (or books!). You can drop off your book donation at the thrift shop during our regular hours. Any local bookstore will be able to suggest appropriate books for elementary, middle school, or high school students.

And who knows – some day the child who reads your donated book may become an author with a book in the Library of Congress

We need your help! ONLY YOU can do this & make a difference!

mdday_color_logoVote for Assistance League – Make A Difference Day All-Star Award 2014!

Every year, USA Weekend Magazine and the Points of Light Foundation sponsor “Make A Difference Day,” a national day of service.  And to honor particularly compelling service projects, they’ve created a contest – the “Make A Difference Day All-Stars” contest for a $10,000 prize (awarded by the Gannett Foundation). You may not realize this, but Assistance League of Irvine is one of 120 Assistance League chapters across the nation.  And the National Assistance League organization has been chosen as one of the finalists for this prestigious award.  The winner will be selected by an on-line vote – so we need your votes to win! (More about how to vote, in a minute.)

We were selected because of our national 2013 Children’s Book Drive, in which 93 Assistance League chapters, including Assistance League of Irvine,  collected 103,000 books for children in schools, foster programs, and shelters.  That’s an average of 1,100 books per participating chapter!

We thank all of you who donated books to us for this book drive and helped make it such a success.  NOW we’re asking all of you to VOTE for us, to help National Assistance League win the All-Star prize!

You can vote for us at:   http://makeadifferenceday.com/vote-now.  Voting is open from now until March 4,  and is limited to ONE VOTE PER DAY.

As they used to say in the old days, vote early and often (i.e. daily).  Help Assistance League win the All-Star prize!