Gift of Reading Book Drive in Need of Donations; Deadline Dec. 16

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The Gift of Reading, a once popular annual Silicon Valley holiday charity drive, has only collected about 2,000 books so far this season, according to San Jose Mercury News columnist Mike Cassidy. He put out a call on Friday for local residents to step up and donate a new, or like-new, book for a child by the Sunday, Dec. 16 deadline.

At its height, Gift of Reading collected more than 80,000 books for children who couldn’t afford their own books. The program nearly died last year, but was revived by RAFT, the Resource Area For Teachers, in San Jose, according to Cassidy.

“I know the season of giving can be exhausting. Everybody wants something. And, of course, everybody needs to decide whether and who they would like to help out,” Cassidy said in his Dec. 7 column. “But few gifts have the bang for the buck of a book. You can find a kid’s book for less than $10; a lot less for a paperback. And many of us are lucky enough to know that warm and powerful feeling of being a child holding that special book.”

A complete list of drop-off locations, most bookstores and libraries, is on the Mercury News website. You can also make a credit card donation to the program on the RAFT website.