The following is a guest blog post by Peg Bania.
I am a weekly volunteer for Classroom Central and a former teacher, so I understand the many needs of students and teachers in high poverty schools. Knowing that children’s books are often in short supply in these classrooms, I wanted to help find donations. When I called my neighborhood association board president for ideas to collect gently used books in our neighborhood, she suggested that I post a request on the website Next Door.
The website for Next Door is www.nextdoor.com and is very easy to use. When you sign up, it will ask you if you want to post messages to only your neighborhood, or surrounding neighborhoods as well. After completing my profile information, I found that 65% of the 315 homes in my neighborhood were already members. I posted my request for “gently used children’s books” on a Friday evening, and by Saturday morning I had several responses. More responses came on Sunday. I had said I would pick books up, but most people were willing to drop the books off at my home. In just 2 days, I had donations that filled 10 grocery bags!
I will continue to post requests for books and supplies for Classroom Central throughout the summer, as people are cleaning out and possibly even moving now that summer is here. I had one mom message me yesterday saying she was having her children pick out books themselves that they wished to donate. Using Next Door has been an effective and easy way to collect much needed items for Classroom Central’s students and teachers.