Books and a Blanket
We give books to kids!
Harper Cunningham with Books and a Blanket
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
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?
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?