The literacy organization Success Won’t Wait recently celebrated its 9th year serving the literacy needs of children through adults in the tri-state area (and beyond!). Founded in July 2002, the organization’s mission is to encourage reading, particularly by children.
“This is an incredible milestone for us,” says organization President Susan McNeill. “Over the course of the last nine years, our dedicated volunteers have completed hundreds of projects, both large and small, that have placed over 250,000 books in the hands of those who need them most.”
Examples of recent projects completed in 2011 include:
- The donation of hundreds of brand new books to each library in Camden County Summer Reading program by volunteer Matthew McNeill;
- The donation of approximately 1,000 books to St. Anthony’s School by volunteer Vincenzo Carrieri-Russo; and
- The coordination of a donation of over 8,000 books destined for hurricane-ravaged New Orleans schools by volunteer Christine McNeill.
About Success Won’t Wait
Success Won’t Wait operates on a simple formula. Volunteers organize used book drives, calling on ordinary citizens to donate used books for redistribution in the community. To date, dozens of book drives have been held throughout the Mid-Atlantic at many different types of locations. Both private and public schools — from pre-schools to the University of Delaware – have become involved.
In addition, businesses, retail locations, churches, and civic associations have also agreed to become book drop locations for donations, or have themselves become large book donors. But the greatest outpouring is consistently shown by countless individuals, who have scoured their garages, basements, and bookcases for unused books in support of the program and its mission.
After books have been collected, they must be cleaned and inspected for damage. Pencil marks are erased, minor rips repaired, previous owner’s names are blacked out, and spines are strengthened. Books are then sorted according to category and age appeal. Finally, a Success Won’t Wait, Inc. sticker is placed on the inside and outside cover. This identifies the organization as well as provides information to any reader who might be interested in donating or volunteering.
Since its inception, the group has expanded its original mission and developed three major project areas:
- Children’s Book Baskets. To date, Success Won’t Wait, Inc. has provided over 200 children’s book baskets to locations in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These baskets are filled with 30-50 children’s books and are carefully chosen to include something for everyone, from ABC’s, to easy readers, to joke books for pre-teens. They are placed, at no cost, in waiting rooms and lobbies where children frequently have to wait. Examples of placement locations include Kids Kuts, American Dance Academy, and Winner Ford of Newark.
- Creating “Independent Libraries.” Each library contains over 1,000 books that are specially chosen to reflect the needs of the population. Libraries are created in both temporary residential and day-only settings. Examples of libraries that have already been developed include: The Bayard House, a temporary residential facility for pregnant teens; Telegraph Road Learning Center, an alternative learning facility for teens with special needs; and Delaware Adolescent Program, a special high school for young parents and girls aged 12-19 who are pregnant; Exceptional Care, a hospice in Newark for chronically ill and dying children; and PAL Center in New Castle, a refuge for inner city youth.
- Special Projects. Large book donations, frequently in excess of 1,000 books each, are culled from the collection for various organizations and groups. Examples include U.S. troops stationed overseas (through the Operation AC program), Gander Hill and Baylor Women’s Prisons, Delaware Foster Grandparents Program, and Kent County’s P.E.A.K. Program.
Want to learn more about Success Won’t Wait’s literacy projects, how to donate your books, or volunteer your time? Simply visit About Success Won’t Wait.
Read now, because success won’t wait!