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Meet my homie, friend and sister… Darla Bunting (@DarlaBunting). Let’s see if I can describe her: If you took a brown balloon and filled it with all sorts of good stuff like cupcakes (don’t ask me how) and glitter and hugs and love… and then popped the balloon so the goodies spread on everyone around … you could name that lovely combustion, Darla Bunting. Her personality just pops and the warmth in her spirit is contagious. I like her and I support her and the work she does. I mean, I’ve also probably told her to ‘calm yo lil self down’ a few times in my head, but I didn’t really mean it. Besides, every great man and woman was told to calm down by someone, yet they didn’t. (Don’t get me preaching).
Quick Story: I grew up in the great state of North Carolina; home of chopped BBQ (not that ‘pulled’ stuff yall northerners eat), tobacco, and some of theeeee BEST universities this side of the galaxy. And with that, we also have/had pretty good public schools systems. So when I came to the DMV and heard that public schools had a different reputation, I wasn’t happy about it but I understood how that could be. What bothered me most then and even today, was knowing that some kids didn’t have books to read at school or at home. Like really? How can we have high expectations for youth if we don’t prepare them properly? It was challenging for me to accept. It seemed like a hyperbole statement someone created to make a point, but it’s not; it’s true. Even now, it bothers me and it bothers Ms. Bunting also. This is one of the reasons she supports First Book; she’s also the Co-Chair with Angel McNeil.
Darla shared some of the org’s model with me recently: “We give out book grants to teachers and nonprofits serving children in need twice a year–once in the fall and spring. Since we are volunteer-led, 100% of your donation goes to our book grants. First Book has partnerships with major book distributors like Harper Collins and Barnes and Noble, so our book grantees use their grants to purchase books for at significantly discounted prices. The average book costs $2.50 on the First Book Marketplace. Your donation goes a long way. Once the teacher or nonprofit receives the books, they use them in the curriculum, and then the books become the property of the kids.” #winning
If it also bothers you that so many of your young mind don’t have books to read, there are many ways that you can help. Click HERE to learn how to volunteer or visit www.firstbook.org/dc to make a financial donation. Remember, one $10 donation can purchase 4 new books! That’s ONE DRINK at dinner. Is it worth it to you? If you decide to donate, let us know in the comment section if you wish so we can celebrate you!
In addition, First Book is always looking for people, businesses, church groups, social clubs and organizations to help plan fundraisers and to support their quest work. If you’re interested, please contact Darla.Bunting@gmail.com.
In her words: “We’re all joined by one mission: to get quality books in the hands of kids in order to increase the District’s literacy rate. We believe that reading is the gateway to success. Students who are confident readers achieve more in school and are more likely to attend college. We are being the change we wish to see.” I support that!
The Pictures: Darla did a birthday fundraiser supporting First Book. She looked great and it was nice to see many attending and supporting the cause. BTW, I think today’s title is cute. Slightly Corny, but cute. The alliteration tickles me!
If you know Darla or Angel or support First Book and other orgs like them, let us know in the comments!
Today, I’m thankful that I know what it feels like to grow up with appropriate books and to have the ability to help others know this feeling also. God bless.