Lindsay List, 14, of Englewood, Colorado, an eighth-grader at West Middle School, collected well over 1,000 books in her community for her local Jewish Family Services (JFS) agency and her school district to help kids and others improve their reading skills. Partly because of a reading disability, Lindsay appreciates that reading is a “big part of life,” and that all children need access to books to become good readers. Moreover, “I am passionate about helping people,” said Lindsay. That was the impetus behind a book donation project called “Lindsay’s Library,” launched in late 2019.
Lindsay began her project by sending emails to friends and family members to appeal for book donations, posting a notice in her temple’s newspaper, and placing a collection box at the temple. For three months she gathered donations and purchased additional books to stock the shelves of a JFS library, delivering about 50 books a month. “Kids were the focus,” said Lindsay, “but I collected books for all ages, including people that had trouble reading English.” But when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted her work for JFS, Lindsay found she could donate books to her school district instead. After collecting more books, she wore a mask and gloves while wiping down each one to minimize the risk of spreading germs and repackaged them in new boxes for delivery to the Cherry Creek School District.