Cub Scout Pack 3957 Impact Local Literacy Efforts
The Wolf Den of Cub Scout Pack 3957, a group of five second graders, collected donations for Books to Benefit as its first community service project in 2018.
The Cub Scouts oath encourages them to “help other people at all times.” This is especially true of Pack 3957, sponsored by the Hudson Lions Club, an organization whose international motto is to serve. Exploring service projects with the group, Den Leader Jeff Bathe talked about areas of need in the community. Bathe is an educator who understands the importance of literacy. “When I shared with the pack that many people don’t have access to books and, even some adults need help learning to read, the scouts wanted to help. We searched the internet for local organizations involved in literacy efforts, and Books to Benefit emerged. We saw its work with multiple county organizations as the best way to do the greatest good,” noted Bathe.
Books to Benefit is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization, hosting semiannual used book sales and donating the proceeds of those sales to STAR Adult Literacy and YouthBuild McLean County’s literacy programs.
“Sponsoring a book drive is very real way to teach second graders the power of community service,” shared Books to Benefit President Jackie Langhoff. “Seeing the boxes fill with books gives them a tangible way to measure the impact of their service project. Each book sold means more money to buy books used in teaching adults to read.”
The Scouts kicked off the drive on January 20th at Hudson Elementary during the Pack 3957 Pinewood Derby. Students and parents left books in a donation box at the school. In all the group collected over 575 items. The books were sorted, removing damaged items and coloring books. On Saturday, March 5, those books were to delivered to Books to Benefit.
“These books came at the right time. Books to Benefit is in desperate need of books for its June 14-17 semiannual book sale,” commented Books to Benefit Operational Manager Mary Lou Winterland. “We need books!” Books to Benefit accepts donations year-round. In-person donations are accepted at 360 Wylie Drive, Suite 700 in Normal on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Donations may be left anytime throughout the year at drop boxes: YWCA on Hershey, Wesley United Methodist Church or the Books to Benefit location. For more information contact Books to Benefit at (309) 531-8320.