JFCS of the Suncoast kicking off 8th annual book drive to benefit low-income and at-risk children

Members of public can participate in effort in variety of ways

On Feb. 1, JFCS of the Suncoast will kick off its eighth annual Take-a-Look, Buy-a-Book donation drive “to spread the joy of reading to children,” the nonprofit has announced.

Each year, JFCS collects and distributes nearly 4,000 new books to promote literacy among local children in pre-K through fifth grade classes, “with special emphasis on low-income and at-risk families,” a news release explains. Books are given to infants and toddlers, as well as older children in middle and high school, the release adds.

“Please support our children and help open a new chapter in their lives by joining JFCS’ literacy campaign,” said Sheila Birnbaum, a JFCS volunteer and founder of the Take-a-Look, Buy-a-Book program, in the release. “There’s a measure of dignity attached to owning, enjoying, and sharing books,” she added. “What better way to teach the love of reading than to give these at-risk children a gift.”

The book drive will continue through March 31, the release points out. Community members may participate in it by doing the following:

  • Delivering or shipping new books for infants through teenagers directly to the main JFCS office, which is located at 2688 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34237.
  • Encouraging organizations, neighborhoods, social clubs, businesses, friends and other groups to organize a book collection among their members. A designated person can collect the books and deliver them to JFCS, the release says.
  • Making a monetary donation online that will go toward the purchase of books. To donate funds, clickhereand choose “Book Drive” in the drop-down menu.

Donated books will be distributed to JFCS clients who participate in a variety of programs, including Camp Mariposa, Ignite/REACH, Veterans Services, Homeless Prevention and Youth Services, the release notes. Books also will go to local Title I schools, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, summer reading programs and other organizations such as The Haven, All Star Children’s Foundation, and Bucket of Books, the release adds.

To arrange a drop-off or delivery, contact Karen Pharo, the JFCS director of outreach, at kpharo@jfcs-cares.org.