Books and a Blanket

We give books to kids!

Photo of Books& Blankets

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

https://twitter.com/BooksBlanket https://www.facebook.com/BooksAndABlanket/?ref=bookmarks booksandablanket.com

Date Started

September 2012

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

Books are a very important part of a child’s education and life. By being on their reading level by third grade, children are more likely to graduate high school, and succeed in life. Sadly, not every kid has this opportunity, because of a lack of books. Knowing this, my sister and I started a non-profit when we were in elementary school, meant to benefit kids our own age. We started a non-profit called Books and a Blanket, which gives kids in need fifteen books and a blanket right before winter break each year. We have given books and blankets to schools all over our community and in surrounding cities, starting to address the need of literacy.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

To help kids in elementary schools not only have access to books, but to have books of their own, we came up with several solutions. We either give books and blankets to local organizations benefitting children, give some children at elementary schools a bag with 15 books and a blanket, or, when the need is great enough, we let each kid at the elementary school pick out 5 books and a blanket.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Because of Books and a Blanket, over 8,000 elementary aged children now have books to call their own. These kids are in our community, cities around us, and in a few countries around the world.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Volunteers come and help us at our storage unit on the weekends, Summer, and even during the day where we keep all the books and blankets. They help count books, make blankets, and get everything ready for distribution.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

The kids at the elementary schools send us thank you notes and ask us if we will be returning the following year with more books and blankets, and we would like to be able to do so. My sister and I spend weekends and a lot of time in the summer running Books and a Blanket, and this is our seventh year doing so.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Having started our project so young, sometimes it is difficult, but we have managed to give out over 80,000 books to kids in need.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Our goal is to give out 100,000 books by next year.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We have a volunteers, and always need more blankets and books!

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100
  • Donations between $100-$1k
  • Donations between $1k-$5k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

Our community has been our biggest supporter.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Evaluation results

5 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 80%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 20%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 20%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 60%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 20%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 60%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 40%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

13 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Nooruddin Ahmad
Team

Great Project, the youth of my community don't even use the libraries anymore. we are so disconnected from reading! we need more unique programs that make reading fun ;)

Photo of Books& Blankets
Team

Nooruddin, thank you for the kind words. The kids and teachers are thrilled with the books! We get thank you notes every year that are so cute! Sometimes the kids want to make sure we will be back the next year.

Photo of https://www.facebook.com/GirlScoutG Haidar
Team

this is a great project! My project, the Party Project is similar in that it provides birthday party kits to low-income, homeless youth in my community.

https://network.changemakers.com/challenge/tmochangemakerchallenge/community-review/the-party-project

Photo of Books& Blankets
Team

What a great idea! Thank you for letting us know to check it out! - Harper and Maggie

Photo of Selma N
Team

Your project sounds incredible! My project RISE (Refugee International Support Effort) is working towards distributing creative outlet items throughout refugee camps in order to instill hope and mental well being. I would love to work together in possibly distributing books throughout refugee camps. Please feel free to contact me!
My email is: selma@supportrise.org

Photo of Books& Blankets
Team

We love your idea! What kinds of books do you most need? - Harper and Maggie

Photo of Sravya Alla
Team

It is so amazing that you are giving back to your fellow students. 80,000 books is an amazing total; your effort is increasing literacy in your community. It is incredible that you are unlocking knowledge for other students, and your awareness-- with regard to others' situations- is outstanding. Peerlift is also an education non-profit with Student Ambassador's across the nation; if you would ever like to collaborate to bring education to more students, email us at sravya@peerlift.org

Photo of Books& Blankets
Team

Thank you for your kind words, and we wish you the best with Peerlift! - Harper and Maggie

Photo of Hannah and Zoha
Team

Greetings Books & Blankets,
This is Hannah and Zoha writing from HER (Her education is Her right).  We are co-founders of an NGO that builds and supports libraries in underfunded girls schools in developing.  For our projects, like you, we spend a lot of time with our partners collecting books and then figuring out how to ship them overseas to our libraries.  We are curious how you are collecting books?  What are your most effective methods?  Are you buying new books?  Soliciting donation?  Aa blanket being given with the books is also a nice touch.  We would learn more about your journey and book collecting adventures!

Photo of Books& Blankets
Team

Hannah and Zoha, thank you for contacting us. We will try to answer your questions. We get books from donation bins around our city and a used book store donates many of them to us. We find that people are happy to get rid of books they don't read anymore, so the most effective way is making sure people know we accept used books. Although we don't buy new books, we sometimes get new books in our donation bins. - Harper and Maggie

Photo of Ariyan Miller
Team

Hey There Fellow Changemaker,

Congrats on moving to the next phase. I wishing you the best of luck ! & I am sending love and light to all the positive things that you do.

Photo of Books& Blankets
Team

Thank you! There are so many wonderful ideas on here! - Harper and Maggie

Photo of Meagan Warren
Team

We do similar things! I would definitely love to collaborate in the future, and share ideas! Check out Books For Bedtime!