Frequently Asked Questions:
- Think about possible sources for a steady stream of books. Possibilities include:
- Create permanent collection sites for donated books
- Book stores, second hand stores and others who sell books may be willing to put book donation boxes in their stores.
- Hold monthly collection book drives somewhere in your community, and arrange annual book drives through schools and churches.
- Secure your local school's gym or church fellowship hall or meet in a parking lot as the meeting point, advertise, and get local student groups to help.
- Go door to door to gather books from families (pre-advertise
- Elementary teachers in your schools might be willing to donate a book a month through their book clubs. Consider how to make collecting those books easy. We have a poster than can be placed in teacher work rooms.
- Contact local publishers and service organizations such as the Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary and so forth.
- Every time you speak, ask the participants to do three things:
- bring a children's book to donate,
- donate $2 to help defray your programs minimal costs,
- and collect their email address so you can create a "fans" contact folder. When books are needed, you'll have an easy way to notify your support base.
- Make arrangements with your food shelf or homeless shelter's director.
- Take research with you to help communicate the need. The "Research Told Through Comics" page presents the issues succinctly and powerfully. Print it and use it to help spread the message. Also print and take the mission.
- Assure them that neither they nor their staff or volunteers will need to do anything except to give you space and access. Empathize with the reality that they are working unbelievably hard to fill too much need with too little resources. If they sense that this program will compete for those resources, they will not be supportive, since their focus is to protect the program they have been charged with running. You are allies, working toward the same goal: to provide basic services to our neediest families.
- Check the physical spaces in your local facility, take measurements, determine where to place signage and whether book cases are needed.
- Purchase book cases as needed. Ask for donations and check local second hand stores.
- Be certain to measure. It is not helpful if your book case is too big for the space. A small book case will need to be re-stocked more often, so get the biggest book case for your space. MAXIMIZE.
- Contact us if you are in need of a folding, locking, rolling bookcase. Several sites have needed something portable that can be locked, so a local carpenter designed something for this need. We would be happy to share his contact information.
- Signs can be sent as pdf which you can then print and laminate. Or we can have them professionally printed and sell them to you at cost. This is helpful for the 18"x24" signs, especially. Contact us.
- Recruit volunteers and go forward with confidence.
- Read to Feed the Mind is a worthwhile program and a simple concept: we distribute used books to our neediest children through food shelves.
- Your volunteer base and book donations will grow with time.
- It is better to start small than to not start at all.
- Don't let the obstacles prevent you from taking the steps you are able.
Volunteers are needed. Please go to "Contact Us" and fill out the form.
If you want to get a chapter of Read to Feed the Mind set up at your community's food shelf, please know that we want to help.
- Get the commitment of your food shelf's board of directors.
- Recruit a couple volunteers to hold book drives and set up book donation drop boxes.
- Contact us and we will provide you with access to pdfs for signs, book drives, pamphlets and book donation drop boxes. We also have labels for the inside covers of your books, but until we get a corporate sponsor, we need to charge for these so we can reorder as needed.
- Please contact us and we will do what we can to help you get your chapter off the ground.
We always accept good quality, gently used or new children's books. Board books and picture books are in highest demand, with early chapter books in near second for demand.
Buffalo Books and Coffee has a book drop box in Buffalo, MN.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church is the chapter location in Hanover, MN.
The Community Action Center has a shelf in Northfield, MN.
Other chapters are opening, so let us know where your donation locations are and we will post them here.
Use the "Comments" section below to add links or addresses for locations where Feed the Mind has been set up. We'll paste them into this section as they are added, so that we can build a community of care and support amongst ourselves.
Donations for Feed the Mind can be made directly to Read to Feed the Mind or through the Buffalo Food Shelf. Soon, we will also have an option to donate money via PayPal.