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BYU hosts "Christmas Literacy Giving Tree" for United Way

Providing books for needy families

The BYU Bookstore is once again sponsoring the “Christmas Literacy Giving Tree” to help the United Way of Utah County Sub For Santa program, which provides Christmas gifts for families in need through donations from caring Utah County residents.

The “Christmas Literacy Giving Tree” will kick off during the BYU Bookstore’s annual Preview Night Tuesday, Nov. 11, in the Bookstore’s General Book Department and will run until Dec. 15. A table by the decorated tree will have a list of suggested books for each age bracket and directions on how to donate.

Now in its second year, the “Christmas Literacy Giving Tree” will provide books that will be added to other donated items and distributed to needy families and special needs adults in Utah County for Christmas.

Bookstore patrons are encouraged to choose any book except self-help, religious or political books. The books can be purchased at any register, but cashiers must be told that the books are for the “Giving Tree.”

“I have received letters from schools that don’t have the budget to provide leisure reading books for their students or their libraries,” said Janet Nelson, United Way Representative for the BYU Bookstore. “Children from needy families frequently do not get reading books from school or from home. The ‘Christmas Literacy Giving Tree’ is the perfect way to promote reading and literacy among children in need, hopefully giving them a sense of self-worth and a desire to learn.”

In December 2007, through the generosity of sponsors and donors, the United Way of Utah County Sub For Santa program provided Christmas for 1,668 families, including 4,723 children and 594 Golden Angels (special needs adults). A total of 114 books were donated last year to the program through the BYU “Christmas Literacy Giving Tree” with the help of the BYU campus community.

“Working at the Bookstore, I have seen firsthand the benefit that books have in people’s lives”, said Nelson. “We hope the campus community will catch the vision and give the gift of literacy to those in need this holiday season and each holiday season to follow. Our goal is to more than triple the 114 books that were donated last year.”

For more information, contact Janet Nelson at (801) 422-3008.

Writer: Norm Nielson

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