Jenna Dewey, 13, of Felton, Del., an eighth-grader at Postlethwait Middle School, collected nearly 1,500 books and several pieces of furniture to create a new children’s library at a local homeless shelter. Wanting to make a “strong, lasting” impact on her community, Jenna sent an email to her school principal asking if she could conduct a book drive at the school to benefit kids at a family shelter in Dover. “After hearing my idea, she gladly allowed me to share the plan with staff and students at our school, and they embraced the challenge,” she said.
Jenna made announcements to the student body and hung posters throughout the school, then created drop boxes to collect donated books. The response was so positive that she expanded her drive to all of the schools in her school district. As donations poured in, Jenna spent hours counting and labeling each book before packing them all up and delivering them to The Shepherd Place shelter. In addition to the 1,460 books that she provided, Jenna procured and painted three children’s chairs for the new library, and furnished three additional plastic chairs, a table and two bookshelves as well. “I felt extremely proud knowing that the amount of effort I had put in was actually going to pay off and make a difference in my community,” said Jenna.