A book. One single book. Many people don’t realize how important having one book in their life can be to a child. But believe me, just one book can mean the world to a child. I know this because I have seen the joyous expressions on children’s faces as they receive a book, not just any book, but their very own book.
My name is Meagan Warren and I am 13 years old. I am the CEO and Founder of Books For Bedtime, a 501(c)3 public charity founded to help those children who have no books get the books they need to stay on the right path of life. I am an advocate for literacy.
The goal: To give as many books as possible, to as many children as possible, in as many places as possible.
It all started in August of 2014 right after my 11th birthday. I was in my room at my grandparents’ house reading a book before bed when it dawned on me that there were children, just like me, who didn’t have a single book at home to read at night. I realized how lucky I was to have so many books at home. And, I realized that this lack of literacy had to stop. So, I ran downstairs to the living room where my family was sitting and chatting and excitedly told them my realization and of my new found passion. A passion that now, two years later, has helped get over 18,000 books into the hands of children who need them.
I am so grateful that my family was so supportive of my mission. I go to food pantries, homeless shelters, low income schools and other such places, and donate books to children all over the State Of Ohio. I speak to the children and encourage them to read by telling them about what books have done for me and what they can do for them. I never thought that Books For Bedtime, my little organization would evolve into a full-fledged 501(c)3 public charity. My goal for the first year was to donate 500 books and I more than tripled that number! I just wanted to help out as many people as I could in the beginning and I still am doing it, just on a much larger scale.
Even though Books For Bedtime has changed a lot during the two years it has been in existence, one thing has remained the same: the interactive experience that I bring to the children. I still talk to the children who I donate books to and I still help them choose their books out. I just love talking…a lot! I love the conversations that I am able to have with the kids. They tell me about everything from how they read books at home with their parents every night, to how they go to the library every week.
The most heart warming tale that I have ever been told while distributing books actually came in the form of a beautiful, red thank you letter: a thank you letter that would change my life forever. Inside of the letter was a cute hand drawn picture and next to the picture it said, “Dear Meagan, Thank you SO much for the book. I am grateful because me and my brother don’t have no books at home”. It was one of the sweetest and most sincere notes I have ever received and those words, the kind, honest words, will be with me forever.
For the child who wrote it, it was just the truth written simply on a card, but for me, it was proof that my endeavors were not in vain. It was proof that my hard work had paid off. I am not sure what the future will bring for Books For Bedtime, but one thing is certain… we will continue to help as many children as possible, get as many books as possible, in as many places as possible.
Want to help encourage literacy and be a part of Meagan’s mission? Here’s how… follow Books For Bedtime on Facebook or Twitter and check out their website booksforbedtimenonprofit.org. As Meagan says, “With your support we can change the world, one book at a time.”
To learn more about Meagan and see her in action, check out this Facebook Stories video profile (click image to play):