Meredith Johnson, author

Is that you I see reaching for a holiday gift card because you’re unsure of what to get someone this year? May I please offer you a different possibility for that relative or friend who you find challenging to pick out a perfect gift? It is quite easy! Just walk your snow boots over to a different area of the store that has cards – in the stationary section – a holiday card! Hold onto that card for a minute while I explain the details.

If you are reading this, chances are very good that you’re an educator, correct? I am also going to assume that your strong moral value of teaching children, caring about the welfare of others, and giving, is a trait you share with that loved one or friend. In fact, without the guidance of that person, you were about you purchase a gift card for, you might not be in the field of education at all. My marvelous mother lived to be 95. Perhaps you have a grandparent or family member who is also older? When her birthday rolled around, or the holidays, I wanted so much to buy her the perfect gift to show her how much I appreciated her. My challenge was, she had everything she could possibly need or want. What could I possibly get for her? This is where my idea begins!

Do you still have the holiday card in your hand? Terrific! Within that card you could write about the gift you are going to donate in their name. Whatever amount you were going to spend on a gift card, write a check to a school, that is important to you, and request that they purchase books for students. Books in the hands of children is something that continues to give throughout their lives as it builds a solid foundation for them to grow on. When your friend or relative reads your message about donating books for children I would imagine a warm glow and broad smile will be easily observed.

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Perhaps you would like to donate specific books? Recently, the International Literacy Association Young Author Choices for Reading and the Children’s Choice 2018 Reading List were shared. You may locate the perfect holiday book on one of these sites. If you are already a teacher, you might find the Scholastic one dollar books of interest. For a dollar a book, you could place many in the hands of students! Barnes and Noble also offers a Holiday Book Drive and last year they donated 1.6 million books to 650 charities – see store for details.

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