Ben's Books Events Funds

Ben's Books Events
My brother, Ben, was an avid reader and environmentalist. Since his passing in 2006, I have been able to find peace by donating new and gently-loved books to local elementary schools in Virginia Beach. 

I set up each event the night before in the school's library, conduct the event as a book fair with no cost to the school or children, and then take down and store the books until the next event a few weeks later. I print stickers and bookmarks at home on my computer and give one with every book.

I have had many individuals, groups, organizations, and companies generouosly donate books for me to pass along to children who might not have any of their own. I have been lucky enough to have space in my home, in my classroom, and random places in the school where I teach to store the boxes of books throughout the year so that I may distribute them in the spring to various schools. I currently have 60+ boxes of books hidden wherever I can fit them.  My daugther is having her middle school compete to bring in the most books for the events I will hold this spring! I have no idea how many books I will have after that!

However, I am in desparate need of a storage unit that is temperature controlled so that the books will not be harmed and will be able to be distributed each year. I hope to raise enough money to cover the cost of a storage unit for at least a couple of years, to afford the occassional rental of a van to transport the books, and to pay expenses to become a non-profit organization. I currently pay yearly for the website and I take time off without pay in order to conduct each event since it is not considered professional leave. 

I love the joy I see in the eyes of the children as they realize that they can choose ANY book and keep it for FREE! The fact that I am keeping my brother's memory alive by encouraging reading and recycling books for others' enjoyment is a feeling I cannot completely describe. It is a ton of work and lots of lifting, but I know that I am making someone's life better each time I give.
Please click on this link to see the 5 events held over the past 2 years. I have distributed over 3000 books already! This spring I will distribute at least another 1000 books to local children. I just need somewhere to store all these wonderful gifts for future events.


Mandy Crossman Tatum
Virginia Beach, VA

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