By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
To help ensure kids are reading this summer, Office Depot launched a donation blitz to collect more than 10,000 books to give students to take home when the school year ends.
The company achieved its goal and the books were presented to local students last month at the company’s Boca Raton-based headquarters. Students were greeted with a mound of books that were then loaded onto buses to be donated.
The initiative was part of the company’s first annual Depot Days of Service, an associate-driven philanthropy and volunteer initiative. The six week book drive supported the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.
They came up with the number 10,000 because that was the record of books donated. Office Depot officials estimate they are more than a few over 10,000 books.
“We had some people that brought in hundreds of books,” said Alex Price, Office Depot’s National Director of Community Relations. “We wanted to kick off a long term commitment to education.”
Price said summer reading was an idea that resonated with all employees. He watched his colleagues rally their own communities and social circles outside work and bring in books.
“Philanthropy, when you make it fun, everyone wants to be involved,” he said. “We had fun setting the record.”
Officials from the school district, city and coalition lauded Office Depot for its efforts.
“It’s not just your business presence but your philanthropy that makes a difference,” Mayor Scott Singer said. “You enrich our community.”
Overall, the books will help combat the “Summer Slide” that some kids have when school lets out and they aren’t keeping up with learning at home.