CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Donors gave more than 10,000 books to The Charleston Gazette's Happy Valentine's Children's Book Drive.
"Books are so important," Gazette Publisher Elizabeth E. Chilton said when she created the drive this winter to gather new and used books to share with children who do not have enough books of their own.
It succeeded beyond anyone's expectation.
Readers responded immediately, dropping off bags and boxes of board books, picture books, chapter books, teen novels and all kinds of science, poetry, math, history, geography, religion and art books during the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day.
Both the Putnam County and Kanawha County public libraries agreed to be drop-off points for the convenience of donors. Sacred Heart Grade School in Charleston took on the drive as part of its community service for Catholic Schools Week. The state Division of Natural Resources dropped off four boxes of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia magazine.
Read Aloud West Virginia and Children's Home Society of West Virginia agreed to be partners in the drive to distribute the books to children who need them.
By the end of February, Children's Home Society had shared books with children in Wheeling, Clarksburg, Beckley, Charleston, Logan, Huntington, Parkersburg, Lewisburg, Princeton, Summersville, and Lincoln and McDowell counties.
Read Aloud received a load of books last week, and plans to give some to families who participate in Snuggle & Read, local events where families assemble warm fleece blankets and take home books to read together. Donated books may also be used in a trial program this summer to give students books of their choice to take home over summer break.