Today, Book Baskets has 12 board members and collects books from 19 area schools. We distribute books through over 30 local social service agencies and education programs and are always interested in expanding our program to new organizations in the city of Charlottesville or Albemarle County. Over the past several years, we have consistently donated more than 20,000 books per year to children in our community. Our overhead is only 4%.
Our volunteers collect lightly used children’s books from wicker baskets placed in 19 area public and private schools. Parents, students, and staff fill these baskets throughout the school year. Books are also donated by groups interested in running a book drive for Book Baskets. In recent years, we have received books collected via book drives conducted by local churches, service fraternities, and schools.
We use monetary donations to pay for shipping of books from the First Book National Book Bank and to buy books from the First Book Marketplace, Scholastic Literacy Partnerships, Scholastic Book Clubs, and other wholesalers or special promotions. We have a particularly close relationship with First Book, a national non-profit, from whom we have received over 65,000 books since 2010. In addition, Book Baskets has received grants from First Book, the Bama Works Fund of the Dave Matthews Band in the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (CACF), the Community Endowment Fund of the CACF, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, and the Tzedakah Fund of Congregation Beth Israel, among others.
In late Summer 2019, Book Baskets moved to large, accessible new space. We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of the donors (including Dumbarton Properties, The Ceiling and Floor Shop, and the UVA Reuse Store) who made this move possible!