Thursday, December 23, 2010

Help Bring Hope to Haiti

A new school and orphanage is the goal of a 100% community-run effort to bring education to the children of Petionville, Haiti. A building, books, and other resources are needed. The school will serve hundreds of the village's poorest children.

The project is a partnership between OFPADHA (Organization of the Proud Patriots for Development of Haiti), a grassroots organization lead by Haitian community leaders, Hope of Haiti, a Mount Holyoke College student group, and Reader to Reader.

The Mount Holyoke College student group was founded by Haeinn Woo, a Korean-American student attending Mount Holyoke who was volunteering as a doula in a hospital in San Francisco de Marcoris, Dominican Republic when the devastating earthquake hit. Woo cancelled her trip back to the U.S. and headed to Haiti.

"My heart told me I should go where there are people I could help," says Haeinn. "The Dominican Defensa Civil offered me a ride and a friend donated $100 via Western Union. With that money I was able to stuff a big duffel bag with canned foods and medicine from a Dominican pharmacy."

In August, Haeinn returned to Haiti only to find the situation was desperate despite the hundreds of millions that had been pledged by the world community.

"Six months after the earthquake, the situation in Haiti didn't improve much since the earthquake. The international community pledged their aid to Haiti and Obama administration pledged $100 million to their reconstruction efforts. However, so far, only a fraction the aid money has reached the desperate in Haiti. People like you donated millions of dollars, but according to a Haitian source, less than half of these donations have actually reached their intended destination. And from my own observation of chaotic coordination of aid a week after the earthquake, such as donated food rotting in the airport storage while food riots were happening right outside the airport, there seems to be more than enough reasons to not just trust big aid organizations to be delivering our donations to the people who need it.

The big organizations seem to be hindered by inefficient bureaucracy and lack of workers on site. In contrast, OFPDH was established by the Haitian community itself and managed by trustworthy Haitian community leaders who know their own family and the community's needs best. Since these leaders are helping their own families, there is little worry for donations disappearing into the pockets of corrupted politicians. Supporting such organizations is the most helpful way to help Haiti."

Reader to Reader has begun fundraising to raise the $3,000 to buy land for the school and to purchase Creole-language books. We are also collecting school supplies, including pens, pencils, crayons, pencil sharpeners, and other arts & crafts supplies which will be brought to Haiti on January 5, 2011 by a team of five Mount Holyoke students who will be spending three weeks in Haiti working on the project.

As the U.S. partner in the project, Reader to Reader will be overseeing the financial management of the project and will work diligently to make sure every penny is spent effectively and appropriately.
You can help!

Donate online (please mention Haiti), or bring or mail funds or school supplies to Reader to Reader c/o Cadigan Center, 38 Woodside Ave,, Amherst, MA 01002.

For more information email

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

School Supplies for Haiti!

Mount Holyoke College student Haeinn Woo with the first box of school supplies for the new Hope of Haiti project. The goal is to build a tent school in Meyotte, Haiti.

More supplies are needed!

The new project is partnership between Haitian grassroots group OFPADAH, Reader to Reader, and Hope of Haiti (a student group at Mount Holyoke College.) Together we are fundraising and gathering school supplies.

For more information email

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thanks Anthropologie!

Volunteer Ann Greene shows off some of the great titles we just received from the online Holiday Book Drive with Anthropologie.

Hundreds of books have already been delivered to us and more are coming!

Reader to Reader is pleased to partner with Anthropologie, a specialty lifestyle retailer that offers an uncommon selection of home and apparel merchandise, to help stock the bookshelves of our nation's neediest schools and public libraries.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Navajo Nation Book Drive Grows!

The mountain of books for the Navajo Nation Library Book Drive continues to grow! Our goal is to ship 13,000 books to the Navajo Nation Library in Window Rock, Arizona this spring.

Here are details on how you can contribute:

The Navajo Nation Library Book Drive is collecting 100,000 books and 100 computers for the Navajo Nation Library. To date we have donated 25,000 books and 20 computers. The Navajo Nation Library serves the 27,000 sq. mile Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Please help us by following these guidelines.

1. Books should be in very good or excellent condition. (Books on Native-American subjects will be accepted in any condition).
2. Books on the subject of medicine or health should be no older than 4 years old.
3. CDs and DVDs accepted. No records, VHS or cassette tapes.
4. No magazines.
5. No textbooks.
6. No encyclopedias.
7. Donations of more than 10 boxes of books at a time should first contact us at so we can make storage space arrangements.
8. People interested in donating computers should first contact us at before making the donation. All computer donations must be pre-approved.

Books should be shipped to:

Navajo Nation Book Drive
Reader To Reader, Inc.
Cadigan Center – 38 Woodside Ave.
Amherst, MA 01002

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reader to Reader Receives Major Grant from May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

Kudos to Kat Libby for her hard work this summer doing grant writing. We are pleased to announce the receipt of a major grant from the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust. The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust supports children & youth; elders; the disabled & critically ill; disadvantaged adults & families.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Your donations have made a significant difference!

Dear Reader to Reader,

Thank you so much for the books that you donated to the Bellamy Library. Your donations have made a significant difference in the options our students have when selecting library books to read, and books to win as raffle prizes for successful Accelerated Reader scores.

Here at Bellamy, students who earn high scores on Accelerated Reader quizzes are entered into a library raffle. Every couple of weeks names are drawn and the raffle winners receive a donated book. Having these newer books available for prizes will definitely serve as a strong motivator for our reading incentive program. Students are already looking at the popular titles that they might win.

Thank you again for your commitment to the reading interests of our students and the generosity you have shown our library!

Happy Reading!

Tessa Grassetti
Bellamy Middle School Librarian
Chicopee, MA

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reader to Reader Receives Carnegie Corporation Grant

A very special congratulations to Kat Libby for her hard work this summer doing grant writing. We are pleased to announce the receipt of a major grant from the Carnegie Corporation. The grant is the single largest in the history of Reader to Reader and was the result of Kat’s mighty pen!