By Lisa G.
These days, when good news seems a lot harder to come by, it's easy to fall into despair thinking there's nothing good happening in the world anymore. But when a project like this one comes along, it's encouraging to know there are still unselfish people out there working very hard to help make their own corners of the world a little brighter.
Open Books is just this sort of organization. When they open their doors in 2008 they will have the distinction of being Chicago's very first non-profit literacy bookstore. Their plan is to sell books on the first floor of the shop, and use the proceeds from that to fund literacy programs on the second floor.
A very ambitious undertaking, but from the sounds of it Becca and Stacy, the two dedicated women who are organizing the project, have things very well in hand. Right now they're busily collecting book donations from all around the Chicago metro area, from the kind of people who care about the plight of those less fortunate than themselves. My own library has, I'm proud to say, donated books to the Open Books project. If you're in the Chicago metro area please encourage your library to do so, too. Or, if you have books of your own to donate, please consider this very worthy cause. Becca and Stacy pick up large donations, so it's not even a matter of getting to them. If you're local, and have books to donate, let them know and they'll come to you.
Open Books has a goal of opening their doors with a 50,000 book collection. Right now they have in the neighborhood of 20,000 + books. Their dedication and drive are so impressive I have no doubt they'll meet or surpass their goal by the time the ribbon is cut and the doors are opened. Of course, the more benevolent souls who donate, the better their chances will be.
The location of the Open Books facility will be 1449 S. Michigan Avenue, in the South Loop of Chicago. The building is currently being remodeled to suit their needs, with a goal of opening about a year from now.
You may contact Becca and Stacy via their website at www.open-books.org If you'd like to get involved give them a call or shoot them an email. Book donations are greatly needed, and though I'm not sure about other specific volunteer opportunities I'm sure they'll be glad to have every pair of willing hands they can get.
Open Books will be working with Literacy Chicago: www.literacychicago.org in order to bring literacy programs to those in need.
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