Today was the Real Job(tm)'s annual community service day, wherein all employees leave work early to go...do community service. (go figure) This is one of my absolute FAVORITE things about the Real Job(tm), simply because every year I sign up to help at the Heartland Book Bank.
The book bank is an awesome place. First off...it's full of BOOKS. That automatically puts it pretty high on my list of "cool places I want to spend time". But more than that, the book bank is a place that enables people to obtain books for FREE. Read on, it gets better.
The Heartland Book Bank is a not-for-profit organization with a double purpose. First off, they promote literacy. They take in donations of books and make those books available to different agencies and home schoolers for free. There's no limit on how many books an agency can take, or how often they can visit, and it's all free!
Secondly, they serve to recycle the materials they get that just aren't usable any more. Books that have been well loved, or are simply too old to be relevant any more. (really, no one needs the federal employee benefits manual from 1969)
All workers at the book bank do so on a volunteer basis, and they are dependent on donations from the general public. (pssst, that's you!) So if anyone is in the Kansas City area, and you have books or time to spare, be sure to look up the lovely people at the book bank. You will never find a more grateful bunch.
Me, I have grand dreams of being able to organize some kind of multi-author donation/signing...thing for them once my book is out. I haven't pinned down plans yet, but Kansas City seems to be assembling quite a group of local authors, and it would be nice to be able to give back.