Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Migrant Children's Book Drive

A note from Monica Olivera: 

I'm reaching out to you today because I have partnered with Save the Children by hosting a book drive for the migrant children and their families recently released from the holding facilities along the border. These families are being left in Deming and Las Cruces, NM, after being told to go to their sponsor families to await an asylum hearing. 

You may have seen the special on NBC highlighting these families and the humanitarian shelters that have been put together. One thing I noticed in the interview was how few books were in the background of the reading area of this facility. And I did not notice any Latino children's literature titles, so I reached out to Save the Children, a nonprofit that specializes in child-focused disaster preparedness. They have stepped in to help at the hastily constructed humanitarian shelters. And they are desperately seeking new Spanish-language children's books.

These books will be used in two of their disaster-proven programs: Child-Friendly Spaces and Mother/Baby areas where their staff and the parents will read to children while they are at the Respite Center. They would also like to be able to send a book along with as many children on their journey to their sponsor family as possible.

Currently, they have around 200 children and their families coming through the facility each day. Save the Children has made a 2-year commitment and expects to serve between 10,000 and 50,000 children each year.

I have announced the book drive on my website, MommyMaestra. And I am reaching out to authors I've worked with over the years to see if you would consider making a donation of Spanish-language books, or pass along this email to your publishers and encourage them to please consider supporting these families. Save the Children is looking for books for children between the ages of 2 to 18, but it is having difficulty getting donations for new books for this crisis. It is a nonprofit and will happily provide a letter for tax deduction purposes.

I am also creating a growing Amazon list of suggested titles for individuals to purchase and donate. If you have specific titles that you feel would be a good fit for these children, please share them with me so that I can be sure to add them. We ask that book titles be sensitive to the difficult journey and loss these children have experienced and be positive in nature. We want the children to have the opportunity to leave fear and pain behind, and be allowed to just be children.

Thank you so much for your consideration. I hope that this project is something that your publishing companies feel they can support. There are no politics involved, just compassion and support for families who have arrived with nothing but hope.


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