Judith’s Reading Room celebrated its 65th month of boxing books for active duty troops and veterans at its final Boxing Party on Monday, November 2, 2015.
Thirty-four community volunteers ranging in age from 3 to 70 gathered at the organization’s southside Bethlehem headquarters. Packing 965 mostly new novels worth $10,608, the volunteers smashed previous shipment totals. The organization serves VA hospitals and shelters in Pennsylvania at the PA Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home and Butler Healthcare, the VA Hospital in E. Orange New Jersey, and Steadfast House in NC, a shelter for women veterans and their children.
Over the past five years, Judith’s Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization, has shipped a total of 126,442 books worth $1,371,791. Nearly 50% of all shipments have been to military bases, hospitals, shelters and aircraft carriers here and around the world. The organization has established 93 libraries in 16 countries serving tens of thousands of children and adults who crave the opportunity to read for fun.
Judith’s Reading Room has shifted its focus to searching the world for individual champions of literacy from all disciplines — teachers, librarians, authors, researchers, educators — anyone who has done exemplary work to instill in others a love of reading. The $10,000 Award carries a top prize of $5,000 and up to five $1,000 runner-up prizes.
Judith’s Reading Room was just sent this photo of the chaplain and library staff with the brand new drone on board the USS GEORGE W.H. BUSH.
These are the soldiers who handle the books that we ship to the aircraft carrier each month.
If you were watching the news this week, you would have seen live footage of the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77) – the aircraft carrier where Judith’s Reading Room has TWO libraries on board! The carrier is the first to have a spectacular unmanned drone aircraft able to fly at night and in extremely dangerous circumstances, without, obviously, risking the lives of pilots.
On Monday night, 20 volunteer Boxers poured into Judith’s Reading Room to select books the troops at our 38th consecutive Boxing Party. Half of the group decided to pick books for homeless female vets and their children who visit a shelter in Asheville, NC because we all felt the sting of their situation. We learned that each night, there are more than 80,000 vets without a home. Each night. Seven percent are females. Do the math – it’ll break your heart.
At this 38th consecutive monthly party boxing books for the troops, we also shipped 500 books to VA hospitals in NY, NJ and PA, to troops and children they serve in Kabul, Afghanistan, to Sailors on board the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, to Marines in Guam, Japan and the Philippines. We also shipped 269 children’s books to a Peace Corps volunteer, who teaches at Schlip Elementary School in Rehoboth, NAMIBIA.
All in all, 20 Boxers packed up 1,158 books at a cover price value of $10,534! What a huge gift to our troops, thanks to our band of volunteers.