Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Books for Beaumont

Dear Friends,

You know how sometimes a situation presents itself, and you think, "I could help with that!"?

That's what happened to me late last week when a writing buddy posted this notice on Verla Kay's blueboards, a children's book writing and illustrating message board:

"Well, I recently accepted a position as principal/curriculum coordinator at a local charter school here in Texas. We are a PK-8th grade campus with approximately 300 students. Over 90% are at poverty level. Our library is coming along slowly. We are in need of lower level AR books (PK-2nd grade for sure). Our library budget is nonexistent. We could use new or gently used books. If anyone knows of publishers/bookstores/individuals who might be willing to donate some books, I'd greatly appreciate it. We are the Ehrhart School in Beaumont, TX. Thanks so much!


I thought about all those kids needing books for their library with no funding and with school just weeks away. I thought about the complimentary copies of my books just sitting at home in my office not being used.

I contacted Larry and asked if he'd like some of my books. I knew they didn't meet the Accelerated Reader requirement he requested, so I wasn't sure. Larry responded with a big yes. I got the address of the school and boxed up my books.

I happened to mention my exchange with Larry to a writer friend. She wanted to donate some of her books, too. That started the ball rolling.

I contacted Larry, again, and asked if he'd be okay with me posting his message about his school's need for books on my blog. Maybe other authors and publishing folks would donate their books. Maybe they would re-post, re-blog, tweet, and message their friends. Maybe we could send lots and lots of books to Beaumont, not just my five.

Thus, Books for Beaumont was created!

If you'd like to help the kids of The Ehrhart School, please send your books to:

The Ehrhart School
Dr. Larry Haynes
3380 Fannin
Beaumont, Texas 77701

Here's their website:

Feel free to share this post. Let's fill the shelves of the Ehrhart School's library. School starts August 26, so don't delay!

(And don't forget: your donations and postage are tax deductible as business expenses.)

Thanks for helping with Books for Beaumont!



  1. What an awesome awesome initiative!! Thanks for being part of that rolling ball and for giving us the chance to join in!

  2. My pleasure, Deb! I can't wait to see what happens.

  3. Four of my books are going in the mail today! Thanks for letting us know about this chance to help out!
    Lea Wait

  4. Lea,
    Thank you SO much! They will love your books.

  5. This is so wonderful of you to do this! I love it.

  6. Thanks, Christina! People have been so generous already.

  7. UPDATE 8.3.2013:

    Packages with books are winging their way to Texas as we speak, thanks to many generous people!

    Here's what one person wrote on the yahoo children's writer list (I've copied with her permission):

    "We're a little USED bookstore, so we don't have much that's too valuable to send. But, we'll be sending something they can at least pass out to the kids.

    When I was young, and in a very low-income neighborhood in the
    northeast, I can't emphasize too much how much a new (or used) book meant to me. So, even though we can't do MUCH in the way of alleviating their problem, we can do SOMETHING.

    I am telling the list because I wonder how many folks have nice looking books in their homes left unread, unused for a long while that would benefit some child with nothing.

    BTW: Texas is one of the more affluent states in the union $-wise. Governor Bush should be ashamed. DEEPLY ashamed!!!

    Debbie k."

    Debbie is right, people. ANY gently used or new books will work. What's hiding on your bookshelf?


    And thanks!


    1. And today, 8.5.2013, someone mentioned they'd posted about Books for Beaumont on tumblr! Thanks, everyone!

  8. 8.5.13 UPDATE

    Got this note from Larry today:

    The first boxes of books have arrived! Your books arrived as did several from Lea Wait. We are so excited! The books look fantastic! Time to Snoopy Dance in Beaumont! :snoopy :snoopy


    Yay!! Let's keep 'em coming, folks!

  9. Thanks so much for posting this, Jody. I've plucked a few things off my shelf already and I'm sure my daughter will do the same.

  10. Aww, Ruth, thanks so much! And to your daughter, too. I know the kids at Ehrhart will appreciate anything we send.


  11. Hey, everyone,

    Give it up for Ann Parr! She sent a box of books to Beaumont! Woot!! Thanks, Ann!


  12. I'll be sending some books off next week. Thanks for doing this, Jody!

  13. Aww, thanks, Ellen! The kids will love your books.


  14. 8/16/13 UPDATE:

    "Julie Gribble's BUBBLEGUM PRINCESS arrived today! Three brand new copies! Larry"

    Yay! Thanks, Julie!!

  15. That is such an awesome thing to do! Way to go, Jody and everyone! Yay! :)

  16. I agree, Gisele. Kudos to all the generous folks who've helped!

  17. Jody I contacted the school about me doing a FREE Author Visit via SKYPE. I also donate to the schools I visit.

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

  18. Oh my gosh, Margot. That is a superb idea!! Way to use your noggin!

    Anyone else up for a free Skype visit for Beaumont? :)