As the year ends, a quick plug for 3 groups that do the same thing in the same way: get books in the hands of kids who otherwise wouldn't get them.
Well stocked libraries (both public and school) are incredibly important for all kids if they are to succeed in a future where the job market may well be as bleak as it is today. But, many studies have shown that having books in the home is one of the greatest indicators of a child's future success both as a worker and a citizen.
With that in mind, I support, have supported, will support* the following organizations:
First Book. The largest organization dedicated to getting the right books in the right hands. What they've done in the past 20 or so years is remarkable.
Reader to Reader. A local organization with national and international reach. They are particularly interested helping in young readers in my hometown of New Orleans. Their logo is also pretty cool, eh?
Bess the Book Bus. The smallest, grass-roots of the three, Bess is an awesome traveling book-giving tour. Bess the Book Bus' is a great place to donate your books. Also, it is the only bus in the world that the Pigeon is actually allowed to drive...
If you're interested in how folks get books into the hands of kids who want to read, the links above are great places to start.
*I assume that you, like me, are consistently being hit up by very worthwhile organizations, so please don't take today's post as another guilt-bomb, rather an opportunity to see how many cool people there are in the country doing awesome work.