Books for Soldiers: Filling a Need of Military in Afghanistan
Guest Post by Irene Watson
On September 13th I send out a call for books for soldiers after Art Mills, award winner author of The Empty Lot Next Door, stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan requested print books for himself and his fellow troop members. He told me most of the books are old and worn-out, indicating people read them and hand them to others.
I sent him a box of 12 books and he wrote me:
I placed the books on a book shelf and people rushed right to them. It’s nice to know people back home still care after ten years. Thanks!!!!
The response after the call from authors, publishers, and individuals is overwhelming, and thanks to several dedicated individuals the request went viral. Every single day we get at least 10 boxes or packages of books. Some authors and publishers are sending full cases of books. For example, Thomas Nelson Publisher sent 2 cases of pocket Bibles; Keith Kornell, author of “Super Born,” and Judith Anne Desjardins, author of award winning book “Creating a Healthy Life and Marriage” each sent a case of their books. But there are so many more that sent cases of books; too many to mention. L. L. Helland, author of “The Hellandback Kids” sent in a 15 books, each accompanied by a t-shirt. As well, many authors sent a single copy or several copies of their books, and many sent gently-read books they pulled from their personal libraries. J. C. Simmons, from Beagle Bay, an independent publisher and distributor sent four boxes of returns and overstocked books. And, I mustn’t forget the bags of candy, music CDs and movie DVDs that were also sent in.
So far, we’ve sent 4 boxes (59 books) to Art, given 54 boxes (1200 books) to the VFW to donate to troops in Afghanistan and 18 boxes of books/CDs/DVDs to individual requests through BooksForSoldiers.com.
Art received the books and said:
I received the books yesterday. I opened the boxes and cut off the tops so the books could be easily taken from the dozen or so bystanders. One by one, and sometimes two by two, the books started to dwindle, and so did the candy. I placed the remaining books on a table in the front of the building. Everyone walking in and out can see the generosity of Reader Views and the dozens of authors that donated their books to us. Most of the donated books were autographed and included letters of gratitude for us soldiers. Thank you Irene, Reader Views, and to all the authors that donated their books to us. Now we can read books to help us take our minds off the curry!
As of Saturday, October 8th, after our last mail delivery for the week we have received a total of:
6 movie DVDs
42 pounds of candy
$10 donation to buy candy
Thank you to everyone that has donated to this much appreciated cause. From the stack of books in the mail room it looks like we can package up at least another 20 boxes.
And, yes, we are still accepting books! So if you have books to send,