Inspired by other Chapters of the P.E.O. (Philanthropic Education Organization) who provide children’s books for their local soup kitchen, Carolyn Gallaher, the Chaplain of Chapter AJ in Larchmont, called Carol Troum of Hope Community Services in neighboring New Rochelle about doing something similar. Her immediate response was “I would love it!”
However, she felt the greater need was for children’s books to give to clients who use Hope’s Food Pantry.
Chapter AJ members enthusiastically supported this project when presented with the idea. A few weeks later, Carolyn Gallaher delivered 5 boxes with like-new books to Hope Food Pantry. Books for ages 1-15 were shelved in a corridor book case, an always well trafficked area. Other books were set out for the vetted 3-400 families to pick up as they finished the food distribution line.
The Hunger Task Force of Larchmont-Mamaroneck services about 350 families in the area. Food distribution occurs in the evening and the following morning twice a month. Coordinator Malcolm Frouman supported the idea of making free books available observing “anything to help our clients.” Three boxes of books were picked up in the first distribution in September and 2 boxes in November.
The books were a big hit with none left over and many thanks from the coordinators and volunteers of both organizations.
The books come from members and friends who know of the project as well as leftovers from holiday bazaars at local houses of worship and community sales. Carole Troum, director, is shown with two of the new books set aside to Help Hope Community Services provide some of the 600 gifts for children during December holidays. Literacy, education, enrichment and recycling goals all come together in Chapter AJ’s unique outreach program.