Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bookcase History

When we started going to the UNC Pediatric Oncology Clinic 3 ½ years ago, there was a wooden bookcase in the hall and usually there were some new books on there and we were told if we were interested we could take them home. Karl and I always looked, but usually didn’t find much of interest. The bookcase donations were started by a woman who had been an educator for years, loved children and she too was being treated for cancer. The books were from a publisher and were pre-proof copies. At some point this nice woman died and the flow of books stopped. For a couple of years those shelves have held the odd assortment of magazines that often end up in a doctor’s office.

A couple of weeks after Karl died in March, Chink and I agreed that we would like to do something for the clinic. They had been so kind to us and we were thinking there must be something we could buy for them. Dr. Gold suggested we put books on the shelves again. He knew how much Karl enjoyed reading and he daily saw those empty shelves. I thought it was a great idea and took it on as a project. I contacted our loyal friends who had supported us for three years and many of the local ones wanted to get involved. I asked Valerie to be a drop off point and we got the word out that we wanted new or gently used children’s books—preschool to early teens. Many people donated books their children had out grown and that got us started. The main difference between this supply of books and the ones that used to be on those shelves is that these are books our children have loved and read.

The clinic staff is so pleased to have these books for the young patients they care so much about. They tell me it has become the first place most of the kids head to after they have been checked in. They want to find a book. Dr. Gold is amazed how popular the books are even though it was his idea in the first place. The children can read the books while they are in the clinic or take them home if they want to. They have a lot of boring waiting around time—in the clinic and in the
car ride home. The books give them comfort they so desperately need.

Since I've been a mom and go to the clinic every two weeks to restock the shelves, I can see and have a good feel for what the kids will like. New preschool boardbooks and new releases are needed and I'd like to have the money to buy these. I can get discounts from local bookstores because I am buying books for the hospital and have ordered online and gotten good deals. This is why we are asking for money donations.

Thanks to those who have helped me make this possible.
Love, Kathy

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