Sorry, but you're down to the wire! Do not despair--from the comfort of your home, you can donate to provide a gift of books to a child. It's a double gift if you do it in honor of a friend or loved one. It's easy, and the rewards can't be measured if your gift enables a child to become a better reader.
Here's a quote that I love, "I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve." (source: Charles de Montesquieu) If a book can relieve a child's stress, then we should take the opportunity to provide a good book to achieve that goal!
Studies have shown that children who read for pleasure, become better readers. (To read one such study, click here.)
The following is a sampling of literacy-based charitable organizations and their stated goals. The first two serve children in this area.
Children's Literacy Foundation. "Our mission is to inspire a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural children up to age 12 throughout New Hampshire and Vermont."
Believe in Books Literacy Foundation. "Supporting literacy iniatives in Northern New England."
Book Aid International. "Vibrant libraries - Inspired Readers - Empowered Communities."
First Book. Provides "access to new books for children in need."
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. To "insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income."
Oxfam International. "By helping someone open a book, you can open a mind, too."
Here's a unique gift idea--give a child a book AND light to read it by! Two young women, while students at Columbia University, invented a portable, solar light source that can provide illumination in places where electricity is not available (their original intent was for the lights to be used by people struck by natural disaster). Now that the portable light has become marketable, they have set up a giving opportunity. Check it out here.
Please consider giving to any or all of these organizations and have a great holiday knowing you have made a child's life better!