The final total (so far) is ONE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED and NINETY-TWO BOOKS! I can't even believe it. We still have one more drop box that will be collected and taken down to the hospital next week, so this total is not a final number!
So many books! We actually did have more books than that, but those that were "overly-loved" had to go elsewhere. I didn't feel right taking them to Goodwill, so I ended up taking them down to the Clackamas County Women's Services Center. If you are not familiar, the CCWS supports many shelters for women and children in Clackamas county. Needless to say, they were completely thrilled to get the three jam packed full boxes of books.
So what does 1,692 books look like?
We planned on meeting at the front lobby at the hospital Thursday (Valentine's Day) at about 9:30 in the morning. Cindy (staff member of the Child Life Department), Rachel (Nina's Mom) and Tanya (fellow mom friend of ours along with her youngest daughter Lucy) all met at the front door to drop off the books.
We stood around for a bit discussing this journey of book collecting and how it has been such a great experience for us all. People have asked me how can I possibly do it all? Between the book drive, trying to sell our house, raise two active boys, run a small business all while my husband is commuting over 3 hours every day. How do I do it?
That is an easy question to answer. It really was all there waiting for me to just facilitate it. When I look back at this experience, I can't believe how every details just fell right into place all by itself. The book donation boxes were donated by my dear uncle John, the flyer's were donated by Tanya's husband, and most of the other supplies really didn't cost that much money. Most of the boxes were put into place because of all the other mom's in our playgroup came together to help, and the books, well, they just came all on their own.
Most of the books are going directly into the waiting rooms at the hospital, and because we had so many, they were able to spread the wealth out to some of the clinics waiting rooms as well.
Rachel's mom, who recently traveled to Kenya Africa, brought back a few bilingual, as well as English books about Africa for kids. The really neat thing is we were able to bring some of those books to a patient currently at the hospital for her to enjoy. It was so cool to see her little smiling face when she saw books about people who looked just like her.
I have to really thank (again) the Oregonian and Goshia (the reporter), for helping us share our story and get the word out about the need for books. Did you know that Child Life Department at Doernbecher has very little funding for books and toys for the patients and their families? It's amazing. They have (what I would consider) one of the most challenging jobs at the hospital. Their job is to make the patients stay comfortable as well as their families.
So many other thank yous that I don't think listing them will be enough. Let me just say....
I really don't feel like I have done anything more than what someone else would think of doing, I don't feel extraordinary or even special. I really feel a sense of joy and satisfaction knowing that if Nina was here today, she would have helped us and it would have made her really smile to do something nice. She really did have the greatest most infectious smile.
Will I do this again, also has been a common question. My answer to that is HECK YES! My feeling is that not only is this something that to me, is so personal and so rewarding! So please stay tuned for updates on when we will be doing our 2nd Annual Nina's Books of Love Book Drive.
Here are some more pictures from our drop off day! The first picture is Lucy, Tanya, Rachel and Cindy and the second one has me there on the end.