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May 26, 2021


By: Jodie Kench

For the first time, United Way Bay Area hosted a Virtual Book Drive with the goal of compiling dynamic book bags featuring authors of color whose books provide self-affirming messages for youth. With support from our sponsor Deloitte, United Way Bay Area’s Emerging Leaders, and from donors, Patrick Burden, Tiphaine and others spanning the Bay Area to New York, we were able to reach our goal of providing 70 families and 100 youth with their own personal libraries of books that celebrate and affirm people that look like themselves.

Thanks to our sponsors and donors, over 200 books were collected, each highlighting important issues of colorism, hair texture, immigration, gender, and more. Everyone deserves to feel seen, understood and valued and our hope is that these books will do their part to foster inclusivity, acceptance, and self-love. Also included in the book bags were activity workbooks on reading, grammar, and math; fun bookmarks for youth to keep track of their summer reading; a link to take the reading pledge; and access to encouragement videos with stories of inspiration from United Way Bay Area friends. All participating families and youth have access to these videos so that they may watch, reflect, and be encouraged throughout the summer to continue to read and grow with us!

The organizations supported through this effort include: East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, Oakland School Unified School District – Childhood Development Center and United Way Bay Area’s SparkPoint centers.

We are thankful to everyone who helped make this virtual drive a success!

Interested in getting involved and giving back this summer?

Join us for our Back-to-School Drive!