My name is Randy and I am an English professor at a local university. I also work at a facility for at-risk youth.
Sometimes a single book can change a person's life. Many of us know this personally, but if we have not experienced it ourselves we surely have heard of others who have. Whether with an unexpected idea, emotion, insight, or connection, books can affect us in very profound ways. It may or may not be apparent at the time, and the change may come years later, but when it does happen it is often very clear in retrospect.
The youth I work with currently spend several hours per day with no entertainment other than books. Not surprisingly, they quickly become voracious readers. In fact, they read far more than I do as an English professor! This is a good thing, of course, but it could be much better and this is where my campaign comes in. Their current library is a somewhat random collection of mostly donated paperbacks. My goal is to raise enough money to buy 100 of the most appropriate, inspiring, and thought-provoking books available to take better advantage of their abundant reading time and in doing so create subtle but focused opportunities for lifelong change through reflection.
Although society sometimes finds it hard to devote precious resources to those who are the most troubled, and troubling to us, keeping just one of these children on track and out of public care for a single week would save taxpayers an amount equal to the cost of the entire library. So providing high-quality books is not only the right thing to do for these youth themselves, but it also makes financial sense for all of us. Each of the books purchased will be available to more than 100 youth per year and will likely be read many, many times. This may seem insignificant, but sometimes a single book really can make a difference.
Thank you for reading this, and please pass this on.
- Marty Kepler
- Steve Parks
- Kirstin Zinger