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Karin's Story

 I am a sign language interpreter.  I work in a high school.  My first college degree is in teaching, which I actually did for a couple of years.  That experience, and the fact that I still work in a high school, leads me to help out other educators whenever I can.  I am also a voracious reader.  As my husband has said, books are a disease with me.  I told him he was lucky: "Some women buy shoes.  I buy books."
 
One of my Facebook friends posted a story a couple of weeks ago about her school in Missouri.  There was a flood, she said, and many of the books in the school's library had been destroyed.  This meant they needed to rebuild their library almost from scratch, and the economy being what it is, the money simply isn't there.  I asked her for more specifics about what kind of books were needed, and then told her I would post a plea for used books on my school district's email system.  (We actually have a forum for miscellaneous things- people sell stuff, ask for recommendations for doctors, that sort of thing, on there.)  I figured, with it being summer, my coworkers might be going through their kids' rooms and weeding out stuff that wasn't used anymore.  I figured I'd get a couple of boxes and send them along. 
 
I got a couple of responses, but one stood out:
 
"I teach at Middle School and we had a children's book drive this year. My two leads on places to donate fell through....long and short of it is that I have over 1000 kids books (K-8, many new) in my basement.
So, needless to say, I would love to get at least some, if not all, to your friend. Still interested? Thoughts on how to proceed? "
 
My first reaction? "Wahoo, this is awesome!  1000 children's books!"
 
My second reaction? "Oh, man!  How exactly are we going to get 1000 children's books from Morris County, NJ to Missouri???"
 
So, I emailed Caroline:  "Are you sitting down?..."
 
I asked E, the donater, exactly how much space they took up.  She said she was able to transport them all in her SUV, with the car seat in there.  She said it was a bit precarious with the car seat, and that it would probably be better with just one person in the car.
 
After conferring via the private message function on Facebook, Caroline suggested asking others on the messageboard we frequent (and where she and I "met") to help out.  The response so far, only hours into it, has been awe-inspiring to me.  All these people, most of whom have never met, going out of their way, some by many, many miles, to transport books 1000 miles.  It's exciting, and I can't wait to see how the journey unfolds!

"Seize the day! Make your lives extraordinary!"

Caroline says:  In the interest of being completely open and honest (I do not want to mislead anyone), we did lose books.  We did not lose all of them, or most of them.  I'm not certain how many were lost - I posted a comment about a donation to my classroom that was unrelated to the flood, and my principal saw the post and asked if I'd be able to get books with it, because of the flood.  "Lost the Library" in our case means the walls, floors, and shelves - which we are currently rebuilding and replacing.   Karin's involvement came in at that point.  However, we are a small school, we are hard-hit by lack of funding (we lost a huge percentage of our staff last year - almost half the teachers), and our library is one of those areas that has kind of taken a back burner to things like textbooks.  The Young Adult section in the school library is smaller than my personal collection.   Any books we cannot use or find room for would be passed along to a local library - something I mentioned to Karin in our Facebook conversation.

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