2020 NICU Book Project DonationsI started collecting books in 2014 for the NICU where my daughter works to honor the lives of my own twins and also of two grandchildren who did not survive pregnancy. As a reading teacher, I saw that children who were read to, had better attention spans and did better in school. It took me a year to gather 150 books sorted into packets of 5 books each. I delivered them in September of 2015. I had only planned on making this one donation, but the books were so appreciated by the parents, that I kept on gathering books.
Other people started donating books so we could try to send every NICU baby home with a packet of books. Parents read these books to their babies during their often lengthy stays, helping their baby's brains and creating bonding moments full of love.
Each packet has a half sheet handout explaining why it is important to read to your baby. I put at least one board book in each packet, and we also create packets for families whose first language is Spanish.
I worried that our project wouldn't be able to reach all the babies in our NICU this year because of the pandemic. I rely heavily on being about to go shop in person for books at a discount. I generally purchase several hundred books a year for this project and there was no way I could safely shop in person, but I shouldn't have worried because when Angie let the word get out that we were nearly out of books, many, many donors stepped up and sent books. We were the recipients of a few book drives and at least one large anonymous donor.
We have never had as many donors as we have had this year. We had at least 100 donors, but because of book drives and anonymous donors, I have no idea exactly how many people participated in our project this year. If you helped bring books to our NICU babies, I thank you for keeping our project afloat in this weirdest of all years.
We collected 1,788 books this year, most of them were new because of the pandemic. Those that were not new, were sanitized and quarantined to make sure they were safe before being given to families.
We had a few last minute donations this year, which were included in our 2020 totals. I always photograph and mention those donations on my blog, so here these donations.
These were donated by Sara Robinson. Board books are always appreciated. I like each baby to get at least one board book in their packet.
Megan Smith sent these four books. Spanish books are greatly appreciated as they aren't always easy to find.
Ginger Nielsen sent this selection of cute books. There are touch and feel, board books, Spanish books, and paperbacks in this group.
An anonymous donor sent 63 new board books, pop-up books, and Spanish books in this selection.
McKenna Vance sent this selection of hardbacks. I try to put at least one hardback in each packet and for some reason, we don't get a lot of them donated, so they are appreciated.
I want to thank each and every person who donated to our project and to those who donated to the multiple book drives. I couldn't reach so many on my own. Your support is greatly appreciated. It makes me happy that my little project to honor my babies has become our project and is growing and thriving. Together we are spreading literacy to the very smallest among us.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.
Link to our NICU book registry to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.