Incoming Lutheran High North senior and Shepherd Forest resident Ainsley Kinloch is an avid reader.
“Growing up I really had a passion for reading ad I loved going to the book fairs at school,” Kinloch said. “I was the kid who used to stay up all night reading.”
But when she realized not every kid has access to books the way she did growing up, she wanted to do something about it. With a book drive in mind, her mom helped her find Books Between Kids, an organization that collects and distributes gently used books to elementary-aged children in need that live in the Houston area.
Kinloch cited a statistic on the Books Between Kids website as one of the reasons she chose to host a book drive for the organization: “About 85% of Houston ISD’s elementary-aged children live at or below the poverty line.”
“I wanted to do something good for the community during my summer,” Kinloch added. “I didn’t want to just sit around.”
She started the book drive in mid-May and ended her school year asking all her friends at school to donate books. Since then, Kinloch’s also utilized Facebook to spread the news.
“I’ve just been so thankful to the community,” Kinloch said. “I’ve gotten way more books than expected.”
Her original goal was to collect 500 books, but she’s already collected more than 1,000.
The book drive ends July 15 and if someone has books to donate, they can contact Kinloch through email at email@example.com.
Donated books must be gently used and appropriate for children, so no books with broken spines, textbooks, religious books or self-help books.
Some adult books have already been donated, however, and Kinloch has plans for those as well. Any books that aren’t children’s books, she’s donating to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, where the books are given to patients or set out for visitors.
“I want give (the books) to a place where I know they will be used and enjoyed,” Kinloch said.