BookSpring’s Volunteer Spotlight highlights our gratitude for the heroes behind the scenes. This month the Volunteer Spotlight is on Austin Allies.
Austin Allies was formed in November 2016 as a way for families to come together and give back to their community. The volunteer group strives to raise awareness in the community for the non-profits they serve.
BookSpring was one of the first nonprofits the Austin Allies connected with within the Austin area. The Allies collected over 1,200 books supporting BookSpring programs at their first Family Book Drive and bookmark-making event at Cane Rosso Austin on April 9, 2017.
Before the pandemic, BookSpring would host the Allies in family volunteer events at our offices. It was normal to have over 20 Allies sorting through thousands of donated books within a few hours. These efforts exponentially helped increase our ability to distribute over 100,000 books a year. Additionally, the Allies supported us by volunteering at our elementary school events to promote the importance of reading while providing kids with a choice of books. Thanks to their hard work, books made their way into the hands of children in many ways across Central Texas!
This tremendous volunteer group has not stopped there! Allies have volunteered digitally to help us continue to promote the importance of reading at home. They provide their kids book recommendations allowing us to share with other kids and parents age-appropriate recommendations. This volunteer group has helped us transport books to our healthcare, education, and community partners for their supply distributions for those most in need.
In February, Allies Nicole Kanda and Amy Davis picked up two carloads of books from BookSpring and delivered them to Ms. Martin’s Lending Library in Del Valle! She’s opened up her garage to make sure kids in her community continue to have access to books, and we were happy to play a small part to keep it going!
The group recently broke their book drive record by collecting over 2,000 books! Austin Allies Executive Director Erika Nowlin said, “Thanks to our neighbors, friends, and especially our Allies volunteers, we collected and sorted 2,228 books to donate to BookSpring! We want children in Austin to have their very own library of books to enjoy.”