What Happens When a Bunch of Greeks, Sven the Mover, and Three Great Writers Work Together: Schools Get the Books They Need

In late January 2011, ReadThis was approached by Ben Mathan, Inter Greek Council Vice President at New York University. The Greek Council had launched a drive to collect children’s books and had been so successful, they had 5,000 books to give away. ReadThis identified three public elementary schools in Brooklyn (Fort Greene, Bed-Stuy, and Bushwick) greatly in need of books; the schools were only too happy to hear that help was on its way.

The generous Sven Wechsler of Sven Moving company kindly agreed to waive his own fee for sending out his trucks, and ReadThis board members Elizabeth Gilbert, Ada Calhoun and Paul O’Donnell anted up the pay for the labor.

The result: Before nightfall on that early February moving day, ReadThis had its first report from one of the ecstatic principals: “I hope all is well! I am so excited, the books came today.  I am so appreciative of what you have done for our school.  The children will be so happy when the books arrive to their classrooms.”

More reports from the schools will follow, but here, from Ben, is the story of how these college students made an amazing gift:

On November 9th, 2010, the NYU Inter Greek Council began planning a small book drive for the NYU Community, meant to raise awareness and collect books to support underprivileged children.  This drive was intended to support the NYU Fraternity Sorority Life Alternative Spring Break Trip to Tampa FL where students would spend their spring break volunteering to tutor underprivileged children.  The Inter Greek Council hoped to send these students to Tampa with not only their willingness to help, but also a decent number of books which they could provide to the children.

The drive began on November 22nd and ended on December 10th.  Greek Organizations on campus were paired off and also asked to sponsor an NYU Residence Hall where they would spend time tabling and asking for books from NYU students not in Greek Life.  When school opened back up after Thanksgiving Break, the Council was pleased to find that NYU Students had gone back home and brought their old books, some had even gone back home and knocked on doors to collect books and bring back.  What was intended to be a small book drive for one school quickly snowballed into something spectacular and by December 10th, the NYU Inter Greek Council had collected 5,461 books, filling the Greek Council office to the brim.  The council members quickly realized that this was too many books to take down to Florida and after extensive research into various organizations in the area, the Inter Greek Council came across ReadThis which was the perfect organization to partner with in order to distribute these books to children in need.  ReadThis did an amazing job facilitating a pick up of all the books and distributing them to local schools, something that the Inter Greek council could never have done on its own.  Thank you very much to ReadThis, it was a pleasure to work with you!

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