A Letter from a First Book Canada Volunteer

Today’s guest post is from Sharon Crowley of Literacy Matters Abbotsford in Abbotsford, B.C.

The first time I volunteered for First Book Canada I was SHOCKED at the sheer volume of books that were being donated to local organizations. I was unaware of how the process would work and it was interesting for me to learn of the process of sorting, matching, and cross referencing the books slated for pick up.

It was heartwarming to know that many children would have access to brand new books – not to look at and leave behind, but to take home to enjoy. This opened my eyes on another way of getting books into the hands of young readers. As research has strongly shown, a literacy rich environment, one with books in the home, is an indicator for a high level of reading skills. Canada is a rich country, but one with a comparatively high level of poverty, especially when looking at young children. An organization such as First Book Canada that provides books in home where families’ priorities are focused on the daily necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, is so important.

Volunteering with First Book Canada is a way to increase the access to new books for children. This experience is fun and it is worthwhile. I cannot think of many things more important than ensuring literacy of this upcoming generation.

I decided to volunteer with First Book Canada after I learned of this organization from a colleague. When the call for volunteers came out, I felt that if I was receiving all these free books I could at least do my part to contribute to the process.

I learned how First Book Canada gets their supply of books – through various publishers as overprinted stock and discontinued titles. I learned that the more organizations that place orders through First Book Canada, the more the program grows and the more books that could become available.

I try to spread the word on the good work of First Book Canada at every opportunity.