I'm a big fan of Reading is Fundamental, and not just because I've met leader Carol Rasco and she's as amazing as you'd expect. She's one part missionary, one part Southern Belle and about 50 parts Energizer Bunny. RIF puts books in the hands of kids who really need them, kids like me when I was wee. I have some happy memories of the bookmobiles they no longer do (when I am Queen of the Universe, I will have to fix this. I picture fleets of bookmobiles for every corner of the globe).
But I'm not queen of anything. Even the dust bunnies smirk at my feeble attempts to coax them from under the sofa. But Carol and RIF need our help and I'm determined to give this a try. RIF lost all its federal funding and now must rely 100% on donations. I'm not in a position to write a check but they're more than happy to accept gently used books.
Which brings me to my new project: RIFfing with Cybils
Here's how it works: If you were a Round 1 panelist, you probably have a few review copies that have stacked up. Need a place to donate them? Here's an interactive map with RIF offices around the country. Find the one nearest you and if it's convenient, drop off a load of gently used books.
If you don't live nearby but can afford fourth class postage, they're happy to accept your donations any way they can get them. Or have a friend who commutes to the area drop them off. Make a special trip one day. Or round up books from friends and all of you split the media mail postage. The donations are tax deductible, of course.
I'll be reminding us all once a week about this. Please email me at anne (at) inlandempress (dot) com if you do participate and I'll be sure to list you and the RIF office to which you donated (but not the total number of books — unless you'd like to add that. Some people don't want their donations detailed and I totally respect that).
If you're not a Round 1 judge or any sort of judge and you'd just like to help a great cause, feel free! I'll list you too when I do our roundup of donors.
I'm going to keep on this folks, so you'd better get busy. I want to hear some good news from bloggers around the country that you're busy packing up those gently used books for a generation of kids who are going without.
Anne Levy, Cybils Admin.