Darien Book Aid needs books, volunteers
Updated 3:44 pm, Wednesday, February 15, 2017
DARIEN — Though the Darien Book Aid Plan, Inc. is prominently located on the Post Road, most residents driving by probably don’t know what the nonprofit in the little white building does.
“I’m sure there are a lot of people in the community that don’t know we’re there and what we do,” said Darien Book Aid Plan, Inc. President Heather Ferullo.
Darien Book Aid Plan donates books to Peace Corps volundariebn teers, libraries and schools in countries around the world, as well as in Fairfield County. They rely on donations of books from people in Darien and surrounding communities.
One organization thankful for the work of Book Aid is Domus, a Stamford-based organization that serves more than 1,200 of the most vulnerable and high risk children in the region, according to Director of Volunteers at Domus Julia Wade.
“We’re located in Stamford’s East Side, only an eight or 10 minute ride from Book Aid, and yet the need is exponentially greater in this neighborhood. We have book carts ou in the front of our buildings for students to take, for neighboring nonprofits to take advantage of and for the community to take advantage of,” Wade said.
Since 2015, Wade estimated that thanks to donations from Book Aid, Domus has been able to give away almost 4,000 books.
But according to Ferullo, those donations have slowed of late.
“We’re especially in need right now. There’s always a flow coming in and out the door, and from time to time we’ll have a lot of orders and get really depleted,” Ferullo explained. “Right now our selection of children’s books is really depleted. So we’re trying to reach out to people who might not know our message and the work that we do.”
Because they donate primarily to English as a Second Language (ESL) students, Ferullo said children’s books in Spanish are needed. There’s also a demand for chapter books and young adult books for children in middle- and high-school, and Step Into Reading books. The classics, Ferullo said, are always welcomed, too.
In addition, Ferullo hopes to add to her group of volunteers. People are needed to sort and shelve books, pack orders, organize publicity and fundraising campaigns and undertake small repairs to the aging Book Aid building.
Ferullo estimated that Book Aid currently benefited from the work of 35 volunteers, whose hours and responsibilities range. However, additional bodies are needed.
“It would be great if we could get 10 new volunteers who really put some hours in. That would be amazing,” Ferullo said.
To donate visit www.darienbookaid.org or call 203-655-2777.