Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rahkis Book Drive

Oh the friends I’ve made during these past 4 ½ years! It makes me feel so emotional when I think about it.

I went to Rashkis Elementary School dressed as the Book Fairy yesterday. I talked and read to 4 different groups of 1st and 3rd graders. They agreed to host a book drive for Karl’s Books and they had a surprise for me! They had already gotten a jump on the project and collected over 700 books! All 4 groups were full of wonderfully behaved and attentive children. Some asked hard questions like how did Karl die and why and one little girl really understood and said to me, “How sad” and I agreed.

But they also asked me kid questions like if my wings were real and as I showed them photos of Karl and what he loved to do and continued doing right up to the end, none of them could imagine a boy wearing lip stick and makeup to be an actor in a play. I also told them he had to wear red tights in a 5th grade Shakespeare play and that brought out laughs.

I read the 1st graders Slinky Malinki, Open the Door by Lynley Dodd and The Wonderful Life of a Fly Who Couldn’t Fly by Bo Lozoff. And I read the 3rd graders Lost in the Outdoors A True Story by Birdman Dave Gulick. I picked these books because of the message and the animals involved. I was told by the class that Birdman Dave lives in Carrboro and had been to their school with his green-winged macaw named Belle, who the story is about. I was pleased to hear this and the children enjoyed all of the books.

I want to thank them for their help with Karl’s Books.

Peace to you all.

My love, Kathy

The Book Fairy

PS There was a photographer following me at the school from The Chapel Hill Magazine taking pictures of me. My inner self was wondering how in the world I got myself into this. My good friend Angie Sloan is a writer for this magazine. I’ll let you know if the story makes it to print.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Book Drive

Gabrielle is a 6th grade student at Phillips and co-ordinated a successful book drive to win her Girl Scout Bronze Award. Lots of books were donated and I took them to the hospital this past week. I gave one little bald headed boy two books---a Scooby-Do and a Cars book and when I told him he could keep them and take them home he was surprised. He had been there all day receiving his chemo treatment and his face looked old beyond his years, but as I left and went to tell him good bye, he had his nose in one of the books. It made me feel good. These books are really appreciated by the families that find themselves in very stressful circumstances.

The Book Fairy

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Special Thanks

We've had a good summer collecting books from different groups and individuals. Some just appear at my door from special friends. Others are donated by the hospital families themselves. There was a major shuffle of office space at the hospital and we were given part of a storage room for our books. So with the help of Craig, Ben and Peter, three of Karl's friends, we were able to clear out Karl's bedroom where I have been storing them.

By email I received this note from Dr. Gold, "thanks for all the books, they are being enjoyed greatly". Donna Lucier has continued to go with me every two weeks and we know first hand the kids are enjoying them.

So, thanks again for your support. See if your school or church will host a book drive this coming year.

Love, Kathy

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vacation Bible School

My new friend, Julie Wilson, a teacher at the preschool where I worked this spring, asked me to participate in the vacation bible school at her church in Hillsborough. Hillsborough United Methodist Church. One of their missions this week was Karl’s Books. Just this week, the children brought in almost 400 books and they plan to keep a bin set up all summer.

I arrived in full costume and asked Al, their pastor, to help me put on my wings. He greeted me warmly in the parking lot. He was expecting me as the children were. The looks on their faces when they first saw me was so wonderful. One little boy leaned toward me and whispered, “Are you a real fairy?” And I told him, “No, it is just a costume. You know, like you wear on Halloween.”

They were divided into age groups and with each one I showed my photos of our animals, the hospital staff and photos of Karl enjoying his life during the time he was being treated at the hospital. Kristi Geib, Dr. Gold’s nurse is a member of the church and she was there with her two children. I had a photo of her at work and her son said, “That’s my mom”. I also read a book to most of them about a black cat and a bird similar to our love birds. They were entertained by it and I said this is what the books you are donating will do for the children in the clinic.

The books continue to be a special gift for the children at the clinic. Thank you for you interest and support.

My love, Kathy, The Book Fairy

Monday, May 26, 2008

Terrific High School Collection


At the suggestion of Hannah Osborne, the sophmore class at East Chapel Hill High School hosted a bookdrive for Karl’s Books and it was a huge success. Donna Lucier and I met them Friday to pick up the books. I dressed as the Book Fairy and the Chapel Hill News joined us.

Their book drive filled the back of Donna's truck and Hannah handled it all very smoothly. She is just beautiful inside and out. The entrance to the high school takes you right into the cafeteria. All the other doors are locked since the student gun incident. Lunch was in full swing and we had to weave in and out between the huge students and the funny thing was hardly anyone noticed me. I was SO surprised. There was one black man. I don't know his job there. He passed me in the hall and said, "Beautiful, just beautiful". At least somebody noticed this wierd woman in a fairy costume! The photographer was carefully writing down everyone's name. She was fun. A lot of you will get the paper, but Dave Hart says its also online, so I'll add that here.

I just wish our beautiful son Karl was going to that school in the fall. Oh, well. I made the personal decision that his death was not going to make me a bitter person. What an awful life that would be for me, my family and all my friends. Oh, we are all ugly when we cry, but in the morning we certainly do feel a bit better. Karl would want us to survive with some happiness in our lives. This book project does that for me and I thank you all for your help.

I have also adopted a new kitten from the Chapel Hill Animal Shelter. Now our dog Rusty has some one to take care of. He follows her everywhere, as he did Karl.

Love, Kathy, The Book Fairy

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Book Collection Site

Many of you know, I am closing our perennial plant nursery after 20 years. It has been a major part of our lives and Karl grew up there. It was often the place he and his friends played in the sand while my mom and I worked. I have grown tired of the back breaking work and need more daily contact with people, especially children since Karl is no longer here. I found a job as a preschool teacher at Resurrection United Methodist Church (across from Githens Middle School). It just so happens to be the preschool Karl attended for 3 years. I feel very comfortable there and enjoy the group of women I'm working with. It is one many places I donated some of my perennials, so as you drive by, notice the plants at their entrance. They are also hosting a book drive bin and I thank them for that.

Let me know if your church, scout troop or organization would like to host a book bin.
Many thanks from me, the hospital staff and the many children we are helping.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Church Bookdrive

My mom's church, Westminster Presbyterian Church located at 3639 Old Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, is hosting a bookdrive for the month of February. The 5 and 6th grade class is heading this up. I appreciate their help and I know the kids at the hospital will benefit from their work. So, if you're in that part of town and have some books to donate, they will be glad to take them even during the week. The collection bins are located near the church office.

We continue to go to the hospital every two weeks and my friend Donna Lucier has been helping me and we find we're a good team. She is very good at cleaning and organizing and after raising 4 kids and a library degree, she knows a thing or two about kids books. I started a group of books that we are labeling as Library books and those are suppose to remain in the clinic. Every 4 weeks we rotate those out and replace them with others. There is so little space in the clinic we have those books in two plastic crates. Eventually, with the new hospital, we hope to have those on a shelf for the kids and parents to read while they are in the clinic. Some kids have to stay all day for treatments.

The other books, which are the ones they can take home, we have also started rotating them out. It is hard for us to know what will be appealing to the kids, so we mark them if they have been out before and eventually take them out of the clinic if they stay there too long.

So, this book fairy thanks you for your help.
Love, Kathy