Every now and then, we are given the rare opportunity to see the efforts that we make to “do some good” in the world around us, or even far away, land with positive impact. One such opportunity presented itself recently to the Pawling Library, when a letter of thanks was received and shared with the library board concerning the hard work of Karen Franco and Nick Robertshaw, board members who go the extra mile to help needy children and their communities, some a half a world away, experience the joy of reading and learning. With permission to share the letter below, I am pleased to submit the following:
Dear Mr. Avery,
During this season of reflecting on our blessings, we can’t help but think of our friends at the Pawling Library. The Pawling Library has been a true and constant blessing to the work of Wonderland Booksavers, and particularly Library Trustee Karen Franco and her husband Juan Franco, who have been generously and consistently donating and delivering hundreds of boxes of books every year to Wonderland since 2018.
I’m not sure if you remember me, but a couple of years ago, I contacted you about the annual book sale, hoping you might consider donating any remainder books from your sale to WBS. You generously referred me to Ms. Franco and Mr. Robertshaw who were not only willing to donate the sale’s leftover books, but Ms. Franco suggested continuing the library’s support throughout the year with any extra books that couldn’t be used in the sale! The Francos tirelessly deliver boxes of beautiful children and young adults’ books into my family’s garage, even when we’re not there! We come home and books have miraculously appeared to be sorted and distributed to children around the world in need.
Books from The Pawling Library have thus far been delivered to Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Kenya in Africa, as well as the Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Reservations in South Dakota. Last year, when the Kyamaganda Community Development Organization in Uganda requested bibles for their staff members, the Francos came to the rescue, somehow procuring 45 donated or remaindered bibles nearly overnight!
Several months later, this message came from Willy Bukenya who leads that organization: “With smiling heart and happy face, I am happy to inform you that your donated 52 boxes of books, learning materials and sports and games equipment have arrived today in Uganda and at Kyamaganda Community Development Organization. My team was happy too with the Bibles which will strengthen the spiritual nature of our project staff!”
In Mr. Bukenya’s perfect words, with smiling hearts and happy faces, we deeply thank the Pawling Library for your ceaseless support and generosity in helping us bring books to children and communities in need. Your tireless help and support have been a great blessing to our organization, and we hope to continue our partnership for years to come. Thank you Pawling Library! We love you!
Head of Acquisitions and Distribution, Wonderland Booksavers
Children-run and children-serving since 2012
p.s. If you look carefully at the last picture, you can still see where Ms. Franco wrote “Sebastian” on one of the white boxes… and now these books are in new readers’ hands in Uganda!!!