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Monday, April 19, 2010

Using my Talents Part 2: Books for a Literacy Project

Yesterday, I wrote about using my somewhat embarrassing talent for frugality to start stocking up for Lucy M's dorm cooking next year. It just occurred to me that I have another, less embarrassing example.

Lucy M. is part of a student group that will be working in Marion, Alabama, an area with a high illiteracy rate. Lucy and her pals will be spending 3 weeks there this summer. They decided to partner with the local public library and develop a literacy project.

One idea involves a book give-away for kids who participate. The budget so far is $50.00. Gee, that will buy you about 10 books. Lucy volunteered me for the mission. She knows that nothing is more important to me than reading and she knows that I like nothing better than to scrounge for books in thrift stores.

So voila: within a few weeks of rather lackadaisical effort, I've amassed almost 100 books and I still have money in the budget. I've limited myself to books that look almost new. We're thinking of writing a short message in each book, along the lines of "I love this book and I hope you do too."

Can you think of any other good deeds one can do with the talent for frugality?


sallymandy/bluekimonostudio said...

What a great story and...I have to say, from one thrifter to another, what a great excuse for book shopping.

This is not a plug for my business, but I kind of like that I'm using thrift store clothes as materials for a business. This is because all the money I spend on materials goes to the social service agencies, not to some huge corporation/shopping mall.

That's one way I like to apply my frugality/cheapskate-ness for a social benefit.

Also, of course, recycling stuff and just buying as many things as we can second-hand is eco-neutral in terms of using up natural resources. Good thing, yes?

Lucy Marmalade said...

The project we're doing is more than just a book drive; we're organizing and funding an entire week of interactive arts and reading activities at the library. The book drive aspect is totally essential, though, since kids need books at home to encourage reading. Thanks for all your help! It's a load off of our shoulders, the participating kids get more, AND you're enjoying yourself! It's a win-win-win!

Shelley said...

A knock on effect of many frugal ideas is that of being kind to the environment. I try to talk generally about my frugality with lesser well-off friends with out embarrassment, on the off chance that they might benefit from trying some of my ideas and not be embarrassed. Most thrift shops here in Britain are run by charities, so buying from them and donating to them are socially beneficial.

Anonymous said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄..................................................

Chance said...

That is indeed a good deed. What kinds of books does Lucy M need? Maybe you could do a little virtual book drive on your blog. At book rate, if I knew what she was looking for, I could send you a bunch, easy. If nothing else, she could turn them into a used book store, get a store credit and buy more appropriate books. Just a thought. My favorite day of the year in Boston is coming up, Student Move Out Day, where the rich and priviliged students throw out hundreds of books rather than schlep them home or donate them somewhere. I could collect some.

Funny about Money said...

That's so excellent. I like the idea of a virtual book drive, too. We have a lot of used book stores here, plus the perennial yard sales dump perfectly fine books for pennies.

Is it children's books, or are they looking for things that would interest adults just beginning to read? If the latter, what subjects are especially valued?

Frugal Scholar said...

@sallymandy--Glad to hear from you again and I totally agree with your thoughts.

@Lucy--I didn't mean to imply that the book drive was the whole deal. SORRRRRY.

@Shelley--I thought that second-hand shopping was more acceptable in the UK than here--all those Oxfam shops. I still get made fun of here, I must say.

@Chance and Funny--You are so nice to suggest that! I will check with Lucy, who will check with the library. We don't want to overlaod them, since it's a small space most likely.

@@Chance--I would love to check out the student dumpsters! When I taught at a private college, the students would dump their excess in a giant pile. Teachers would pick up books and other stuff. One of the other teachers got a new pair of Birkenstocks!