Thursday, October 8, 2015


Six years ago, some Chatham, Illinois Elementary school teachers launched their own project to get brand new Christmas books into the hands of kids to promote reading, after the annual "Friend in Deed" was unable to continue a book program. It was so successful that it has now become a county wide Christmas Book Drive, in Abraham Lincoln's home region!  In recent years, the Christmas books have been distributed alongside Toys For Tots (United States Marine Corps) at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center and this year, the organizers, led by Jane Byram are hoping to make it the biggest and best ever! Springfield Area Business Men In Christ will be coming alongside Jane and her team and providing as much assistance as possible in order to achieve this goal to surpass the 4150 books distributed in 2014!

The following are some of the details provided by Jane, which will help to explain this wonderful and inspirational drive to get our local children reading again and directing their minds off electronics to the age-old wonder of books! 

From Jane Byram:
The Gift of Reading Holiday Book Drive provides books for disadvantaged children ages birth through 12 years of age.  The books will be given to agencies who provide direct services for children in need.  These include the following:  Mini O'Beirne Crisis Nursery, Sojourn, Fishes and Loaves, the Matthew Project, Grace UMC after school program, MERCY House, Asbury Children's Supper Hour, Boys and Girls Club, Camelot Care, Family Service Center, Contact Ministries, Kumler Outreach, Center for Youth and Family Solutions,  Catholic Charities, Lutheran Child and Family Services, The  Parent Place, and Family Communication Center Compass Program.  

You can help by dropping off new books at this collection site or by making a monetary  donation.  There are drop-off points everywhere, some of them where you see the Marine's Toys for Tots boxex.

Checks may be made payable to Holiday Book Drive and may be placed in the envelope or mailed to Bank and Trust P.O. Box 228 Chatham, IL 62629.

Here are some brief facts about the "Holiday Book Drive" which we hope will inspire the donation in 2015 of 4000 new Christmas & other holiday books:

Started in 2010 as part of the Friend-in-deed program. When FID no longer gave out toys, the Drive folks became an independent organization.
this is the 6th year
Since its inception provided over 10,000 books
•      Every penny donated goes directly for books--no overhead costs
During the month of November books will be collected
Started by retired elementary teachers
Books for ages birth  - age 12 (but all ages welcome).
Monetary donations may be sent to Holiday Book Drive  Bank and Trust Co.  P.O. Box 228  Chatham, IL 62629
Checks made payable to Holiday Books Drive
Various collection sites in Sangamon County--we always need more 
Great way for kids to get involved "Kids helping Kids" 

To donate books to or inquire more about this program, please leave a comment on this article and we will respond immediately. Thank you.

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