This morning, I finished sending off 30 boxes of Some Girls Are down to Andria Amaral at Charleston County Public Library. She’ll be working to get all of the books out to teens at West Ashley High School who would like a copy, for free, since they had the option of reading this book over the summer removed from them. If you don’t know the backstory to this situation, NCAC has a great wrap-up, including a look at how the administration failed to follow their own policies in this situation. That one parent can do this is unacceptable. . . but look what we, the book community, did in response:
In addition to the over 830 copies being sent down, more copies are trickling into my house still, which will be packed and sent next week. Further, when asked if people could help with the cost of shipping the books, you all rose to the challenge, too, sending over $600 to help cover shipping.
The total cost of shipping, in the interest of being transparent, was $450. For 30 boxes ranging in weight from 20 to 45 pounds, that feels like a steal, especially knowing the impact this will have on the lives of those teens. Of course, the book will touch them, but what really matters here, and what this will really and truly show to those teens, is how much they matter. How much people care about them. How they have advocates in their own community who want to allow them the opportunity to find themselves.
That is a feeling that cannot be articulated or measured.
We’ve done right by these teens, and I cannot wait to share what happens when Andria receives the books and puts them into the hands of teens. The thought really does bring tears to my eyes.
If you’re wondering what came of the additional $150 donated for shipping, it’s this:
I sent 100 copies directly to Andria.
There will be a longer, more in-depth piece coming when the books are distributed, but I wanted to send a tremendous and heart-felt thank you to everyone. This project was incredible and moving, and it really reiterated to me how wonderful the book community is and how much you care about the well-being of teenagers.
Teens don’t get that every day. Teens who have situations like this happen certainly don’t feel respected or cared about. They learn early on that the things that impact them are too much to be seen or talked about.
But we’re going to show them the opposite.
Thank you. Truly. I am honored and moved to be part of such a thoughtful, generous community.
This is what change and advocacy and passion look like.