Assistance League to host children’s book drive

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published September 18, 2013

 Marilyn Collins, Assistance League book drive coordinator, packages up thousands of donated books for 2012 Book Drive.

Marilyn Collins, Assistance League book drive coordinator, packages up thousands of donated books for 2012 Book Drive.

Photo provided

ROCHESTER — The Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan is hosting a month-long community book drive to promote literacy and put books into the hands of needy children.

The Rochester area book drive, held Oct. 1-25 this year, is part of a nationwide project run by the national Assistance League organization, which is encouraging its many chapters to collect books for Make A Difference Day.

Last year, the national organization was named one of 10 National Make A Difference Day award honorees in recognition of its members collecting 113,101 books in a nationwide 94-chapter drive. Locally, the southeastern Michigan chapter collected more than 1,100 books.

“Encouraging literacy and encouraging kids to read is so important,” said Marilyn Collins, Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan Book Drive coordinator.

This year, throughout the month of October, the Rochester community is encouraged to drop off new or “very gently used” children’s books at drop boxes at ReSale Connection, 204 S. Main; Skeins on Main, 428 S. Main; The Funky Frog, 433 S. Main; and Brilliant Sky Toys, 3074 Walton Blvd. 

“Our goal is to collect as many books as we can in order to provide them to our programs and to others in our community,” said Margaret Ronse, vice president of communications for Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan.

Donated books will be provided to children through the local chapter’s philanthropic programs — Operation School Bell, in which low-income children are given a book in addition to a complete outfit of school clothes and a health care kit; Wee Help, which provides infant layette kits to limited-income mothers as they leave the hospital; One-2-One Tutoring, which provides weekly one-on-one tutoring in local schools by volunteer tutors for teacher-selected elementary students — as well as to Henry Ford Pediatric Clinic and local schools. 

“A lot of these kids don’t own books. They only have books from the library because their family is on a limited income, and putting food on the table is more important than buying books,” Collins said. “Every book is put to use.”

Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan is a nonprofit, all-member volunteer organization that provides clothing, food, tutoring, educational support, supplies and care kits to those in need throughout Michigan. Funds raised from the ReSale Connection — the local chapter’s resale shop — fundraising events, grants, contributions and partnerships with community agencies also help support local philanthropic programs.

For more information, call (248) 656-0414 or visit