Today I am spreading the word about Spread the Word Nevada. Founded in a garage in 2001, the mission of Spread the Word is to give books to children who would otherwise never know the joy of book ownership. Spread the Word outgrew the garage a long time ago, and, to date, has given away more than 3,000,000 (yes, that’s three million!) new and gently used books to low-income children in southern Nevada.
What do you call three million books? Spread the Word calls them a good start. Its programs now serve several dozen schools in southern Nevada, but there’s plenty of room for expansion. And why stop in Nevada? Spread the Word’s methods and practices can work anywhere.
Here’s how it works. Spread the Word collects all kinds of books, both new and used. The books are sorted. Those not suitable for children are sold, and the proceeds used to buy age-appropriate books. Gently used books are checked page by page by volunteers. They erase any marks and make sure each book is in good enough condition to distribute. Books that don’t make the cut are sold or donated to other charities. Unsalvagable books are recycled. Every book that’s donated — whether it’s given to a child, sold, or recycled — helps support Spread the Word’s programs.
So — got books taking up room on your shelves that you no longer need or read? Remember Spread the Word when you decide it’s time for them to go. Spread the Word has partnered with online shoe phenomenon Zappos to make donating unbelievably easy wherever you are. Just go to this page on zappos.com. You will discover that Zappos will foot the shipping bill for boxes of books weighing up to 50 pounds. You just print the label, stick it on your box, and drop it off at any UPS store. Yes! You can get your donations to Spread the Word for free, as long as you can find a cardboard box.
If you live in Las Vegas, you can also volunteer at Spread the Word. Book preparation events are held weekly to make sure over 50,000 books a month are ready for distribution. You can also mentor at-risk students or help with the monthly Breakfast/Snack Time with Books events held at Spread the Word’s adopted schools. More information is online here.
Like what you’ve learned here? Please SPREAD THE WORD.