SARASOTA, FL – (January 7, 2022) JFCS of the Suncoast is kicking off its seventh annual “Take-a-Look, Buy-a-Book” book donation drive on Feb. 1 to spread the joy of reading to children.

Each year, JFCS collects and distributes nearly 4,000 books to promote literacy among local children in pre-k through Grade 5, with special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books are also given to infants and toddlers, as well as older children in middle and high school. 

“Owning and sharing a book is a wonderful experience for a child, and we believe literacy is a skill best learned early in life, and a skill set that is the backbone of other learning and life experiences,” said Sheila Birnbaum, a JFCS volunteer and founder of the “Take-a-Look, Buy-a-Book” campaign.

The book drive runs from Feb. 1 – March 31, 2022. Community members can participate by:

  • Delivering or shipping new books for infants through teenagers directly to our office at 2688 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34237.
  • Encouraging organizations, neighborhoods, social clubs, businesses, friends, and other groups to organize a book collection among their members. A designated person can collect the books and deliver them to JFCS’ administrative building on Fruitville.

Donated books will be distributed to JFCS clients who participate in a variety of programs, including Camp Mariposa, IGNITE/REACH, Veterans Services, Homeless Prevention, Youth Services and more. Books will also go to local Title I schools, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, summer reading programs and other organizations such as the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee and Sarasota counties and Embracing Our Differences.

About JFCS: Celebrating its 35th year as one of the Florida Suncoast’s leading mental health and human services agencies, JFCS offers programs that support youth, families, seniors and veterans. Inspired by the Jewish tradition of helping all people, services are delivered on a non-denominational basis and with the goal of empowering individuals and families toward self-sufficiency and stability. JFCS of the Suncoast believes all people are to be treated with dignity and respect and have equal opportunity to physical well-being, self-expression and joy. For more information, visit https://JFCS-Cares.org/ or call (941) 366-2224.


By Manatee Herald

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