From Jefferson City to Houston: Librarian starts "Books for Texas"

Melanie Thompson said "Books for Texas" is a way for people in Missouri to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey (KRCG). 

The devastation of Hurricane Harvey is embedded in our minds.

"The images of the families you see with kids in a canoe, or I saw some that were using an inflatable air bed to leave their home when they had their kids with them, and everything they had with them piled up on top," librarian Melanie Thompson explained.

Mrs. Thompson has been in education for 22 years. She doesn't know anyone directly affected by the hurricane, but still, she hasn't been able to stop thinking about them.

"So I was thinking about that on the drive to work yesterday. And I just thought those kids have nothing and they're going to be in a shelter or someplace," Thompson said. "What could we do to help?"

She combined her compassion for others with her passion for books.

"I love books," she said. "I've always loved books. I love to read."

In cooperation with Jefferson City Public Schools, Mrs. Thompson started a book drive called "Books for Texas".

"I was thinking that if we could collect books and send them then we could meet some of those immediate needs."

Mrs. Thompson said any new or gently used book donations can be taken to any Jefferson City Public School location.

Scott West said it's hard not to think about how the kids affected. "You know, for them to have to leave their homes and not have anything, the clothes on their back, a child not have their favorite book, their favorite blanket."

He and his employees heard about Books for Texas, and they put delivered the very first donation.

"I think it will mean a lot to the kids," West said.

And while the books will be travel nearly 800 miles away, Mrs.Thompson said it's all about helping others, no matter how far away they may be.

"I think something like this when you see something happen in other communities, it really does make you think about your own community, too. We kind of come together to look for ways to help others," Thompson said.

Books are being collected from August 29 - September 8.

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