I want to thank Margie Colton and Jerry Benns for all the support and help with the Authors Supporting Our Troops event I’ve organized. It’s amazing the outpouring of ideas and support I’ve received… when I put this together I knew I’d have a good amount of authors willing to donate books, but I had no idea just how many… and in only the second full week of collecting author-signed books, over 500 books have been shipped to me. I am grateful for those who are non-authors or authors who want to do more and are collecting and donating money to help offset the massive cost to ship these books. I am humbled and honored to know all these wonderful people who have taken their time to help me –
In a town south of St. Louis Missouri, the Hillsboro R-3 School District is organizing an event to support the Authors Supporting Our Troops (A.S.O.T.) book drive. Margie Colton, National Junior Honor Society sponsor and Jr. High teacher, is organizing a postage drive, to run in conjunction with the National Junior Honor Society’s (NJHS) yearly USO drive. The postage drive will raise money and awareness for Armand Rosamilia’s Authors Supporting Our Troops book drive. Colton became involved with A.S.O.T. through the A.S.O.T. Facebook Event page.
A.S.O.T. reaches out to authors seeking donations of their original, signed, printed books to be shipped over to Afghanistan and Kuwait and distributed by military personnel, to those at the base, providing much needed reading material. The response from authors has been amazing with hundreds of books coming in daily to author Armand Rosamilia. Over 400 authors and publishers have committed to providing books with personalized messages. With more books arriving daily, the cost of shipping the boxes of books to these remote locations has become overwhelming. To help with the cost of shipping, limited edition t-shirts sporting the logo for the book drive have been made available with over 100 shirts sold at this time. However, the t-shirt sales will only scratch the surface for the cost of shipping.
Colton, who has been involved in many charity drives within the Hillsboro School District, saw the opportunity for her students to get involved in the book drive. By organizing the postage drive, Colton’s students will help bring an awareness of the importance of reading along with a way to help support the brave men and women serving so far from home. She met with the district’s librarians who agreed to keep collection boxes in their libraries for donations from anyone in the district. The students involved with NJHS worked to create the collection boxes. Once the postage drive ends, these students will gather the boxes, count the donations, and send the funds to A.S.O.T. to help offset the postage cost of shipping. An added incentive to help garner participation was created for the postage drive in the form of a competition between the academic teams in the Jr. High, with the winning team receiving a pizza and ice cream party.
When Colton was asked about the inspiration for the postage drive, she had this to say…
“Sending books to our troops overseas was such a great idea! My students recently wrote letters to service men and women thanking them for their service to our country. Those letters meant so much to the recipients, it reminded me that we need to honor those who keep us free in any way we can. My kids agreed and wanted to do more for the troops overseas. The A.S.O.T. book drive is so special in that not only are the books hard copies to be shared, but also the personalized messages of gratitude are meaningful by letting our troops know we appreciate them so much. The kids are beginning to realize the difficulties of those serving in Afghanistan and the importance of reading for enjoyment. The postage drive seemed like a great opportunity for the kids to get involved and help out. I am looking forward to a successful collection and being able to help out in such a great cause.”
The libraries and offices throughout the school district contain collection boxes with the following message:
ASOT Postage drive
NJHS is collecting donations for postage to help offset the cost of sending books to our troops in Afghanistan. Authors Supporting Our Troops (ASOT) is a group of over 300 authors donating and signing books for the troops overseas. Oftentimes the troops do not have access to ereaders and so a real book is very important to help the brave men and women far from home pass the time. The authors are signing and sending messages in the books letting our troops know how much they are appreciated back home.
Any money donated helps to send more books over to our troops.
Thank you for your support!
The postage drive not only helps the A.S.O.T ship the books but helps the students work within the community, build team work, support our deployed troops, and emphasize the importance of reading.
Donation drive details:
Location: Hillsboro R-3 School District, Hillsboro, Missouri
Dates: February 17th –March 3rd
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There are a few more days to also help yourself if you don’t live in the St. Louis area, by purchasing an Authors Supporting Our Troops 2014 shirt, which will be available only until February 6th!