Children from low-income families across the greater Milwaukee area and the country will have access to hundreds of thousands of brand new books due to the generosity and partnership of three organizations: First Book, New Threads of Hope, and M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group.
This week, more than 400,000 books provided by First Book, were shipped to schools and programs around the country via the New Threads warehouse in Milwaukee. Of those, more than 226,000 were distributed throughout Southeastern Wisconsin to organizations such as Messmer Catholic Schools, Journey House and Sam’s Hope.
The books were donated by First Book’s publishing partners, Random House and Disney Publishing Worldwide.
“At First Book, our mission is to get new books and educational resources into the hands of the children who so desperately need them,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “We’re grateful to strong local partners like New Threads of Hope and M&I for making it possible to bring these books to schools and programs in Wisconsin and across the country.”
To make this distribution possible, New Threads of Hope donated warehouse space and assistance with logistics, and M&I employees served as volunteers, assisting with the packing, shipping and pick-up of books throughout the week. M&I also contributed financial resources to New Threads to ensure the group would be able to take advantage of this significant book donation opportunity, in addition to its other mission activities.
“We are grateful to lend our facility to take advantage of this great opportunity and provide the warehouse space and the sorting, processing and distribution services to make these books available to the community,” said Dennis Brand, President of New Threads of Hope. “But without the donation from First Book, the financial support from M&I, and the manpower from both organizations, this undertaking would not be possible.”
Student volunteers from Messmer Catholic Schools who lent a hand during the book donation also participated in a book-reading event in honor of National Financial Literacy Month. An M&I employee read Alexander, Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst and lead a group discussion with the students, focused on the importance of saving and consequences of spending choices.
“This was a great opportunity for three organizations – national, local, corporate and non-profit – to team up and make possible a donation that will directly impact the youth in our community,” said Kara Kaiser, Regional President of M&I, part of BMO Financial Group. “The ability to read is a critical development skill, and is directly linked to long-term achievement in school, the workplace, and life. We believed it was crucially important to provide our time and resources to take advantage of this book donation opportunity, which will benefit local organizations at no cost.”
In total, 64 local organizations have received more than 226,157 donated books, which will be enjoyed by thousands of children throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.
First Book has distributed more than 90 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and the elevating the quality of education. For more information, please visit us at www.firstbook.org or follow our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
New Threads of Hope, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit charity, accomplishes its mission through an innovative gifts-in-kind program that links manufacturers and retailers and their surplus products, samples, returns and past season lines with social service agencies, schools and faith-based communities. New Threads of Hope provides the warehousing, sorting, processing, and distribution services that make all these products available to those who need them. For more information, please visit us at www.newthreads.org.
M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group, is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $477 billion as at July 31, 2011, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.