Our program originated in 2009 as a book give-away service run through the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz. We purchased books cheaply and gave them to elementary schools in Watsonville, Live Oak and Santa Cruz. When the program concluded in 2010, we had received $2000 in donations and distributed about 20,000 books.
On January 1, 2014, Free Books For Kids opened for business as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit California corporation. We have received tax-exempt status from California and the IRS.
We purchase books from places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. The books are the quality you would find in a used bookstore. They range from dictionaries to Harry Potter to Dr. Seuss; both hardcover and paperback. (We don’t purchase or distribute text books.) In most cases, the books would be pulped if we didn’t purchase them. This is a tremendous waste — perfectly good books being destroyed instead of finding homes with deserving children.
Our initial operation focused on schools with large populations of disadvantaged students in Sacramento and Santa Cruz. Now we also give books to nonprofits that have kids as clients. We have also expanded our distribution area to include the San Francisco Bay Area.
Eventually we would like to spread throughout California and beyond.
HERE’S AN ARTICLE In GOOD TIMES MARKING THE GIVEAWAY OF THE 25,000TH BOOK.
WHAT WE'VE ACHIEVED
As of February 17, 2018
Free Books For Kids has given out 86,541 books.