United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) received 3,371 books from the 2020 Holiday Book Drive held by Barnes & Nobel stores in Eastchester, White Plains, and Yonkers. The new children’s books were purchased by customers and donated to United Way.
“We are grateful to be the recipient of Barnes & Nobel’s 2020 Holiday Drive, which was supported by the generosity of our neighbors who shopped the local stores,” said Tom Gabriel, president and CEO of UWWP. “Education and student support are one of the pillars of United Way’s mission. We know that books, actual books, are an important tool for child development. They spur a child’s creativity and imagination, introduce new vocabulary, teach critical thinking, and so much more. These books will help children from low- to moderate-income households that are 61% less likely to have books readily available to them.”
The donated books were divided by age-group. UWWP distributed the books for children ages 6-10 as holiday presents to children in need in Westchester and Putnam counties. The books for the younger children will be used as part of United Way’s United2Read program, promoting early literacy.
Through its United2Read program, UWWP collected and distributed over 15,000 books across our region to more than 5,000 underprivileged children, from birth to age five, in 2020. These books kits encourage childhood literacy and interaction between caregiver and child—both of which are crucial to a child’s growth and success.
United Way of Westchester and Putnam supports Education, financial stability, and health initiatives to help residents become self-sufficient and thrive. These include the 2-1-1 helpline, essential goods distribution, early literacy programming for preschoolers, job skills training and financial empowerment for adults, and access to health services for all.