A new book for Christmas can not only bring delight to a child at the holidays, but inspire a love for reading that can result in a life filled with joy and achievement.
That’s the outcome organizers of this year’s second annual “Give a Child a New Book Day” hope for as they announced on Thursday, Nov. 1 the drive for new books for children in need ages infant to 12 at Cook Library on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus.
The initiative, which runs through Dec. 7, is a cooperative effort between the Friends of University Libraries and the Favre4Hope Foundation. The Salvation Army is also assisting by handling distribution of the donated books to children from families in need in Forrest and Lamar counties in the Pine Belt area, and in Harrison and Jackson counties on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Southern Miss alumna Deanna Favre, founder of the Favre4Hope Foundation, was on hand for the kickoff of the drive, held in the Cook Library Art Gallery. Also present was dean of University Libraries Dr. Carole Kiehl, Friends of University Libraries board member Rev. Tommy Conway and Salvation Army Capt. Andy Gilliam.
While Favre’s husband Brett Favre played for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, she served as chairwoman of a similar program with the Brown County (Wisc.) Public Library.
“For many families who face financial challenges, buying books is not a priority,” said Deanna Favre, a native of Gulfport, Miss. who enjoys reading biographies. “Reading is such a key element of the education process, so we need to encourage children to read more. I’m excited to be a part of this effort.”
Beginning Nov. 2, donation boxes will be available at the following locations in the Pine Belt: Cook Library on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Cook Library at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Southern Pine Electric Power Association, Imagination Station at Newpointe Shopping Center and Main Street Books in downtown Hattiesburg.
Donation locations on the Gulf Coast include the Long Beach Public Library and the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Library. For a full list of donation locations, visit the “Give a Child a New Book Day” Facebook page.
In addition to donating books, individuals and businesses can also help by becoming a sponsor and donating funds to Give a Child a New Book Day. For more information about this initiative or to become a sponsor, contact Rev. Tommy Conway at 601.264.5192 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Sarah Mangrum, circulation librarian at Cook Library, 601.266.4251 or email@example.com.