Our Mission Statement: To empower and educate the homeless and hungry.
We are a student-led, not-for-profit organization based at Interlake High School in Bellevue, Washington. All of us were so fortunate as to grow up reading books. Many less fortunate people that do not experience the pleasures of reading, and we decided to set up Food for the Mind, which is dedicated to collecting and distributing books. We are committed to empowering and educating all members of our community. Food for the Mind was founded in October of 2010, and within only three months we managed to collect more than 2000 books from three book drives and various private donations. By 2012, we have collected and distributed more than 5000 books and magazines. We are now focused on expanding our organization to other high schools in nearby school districts as well as extending outreach to more community venues. Please see our homepage for information about how you can help!
From left to right: Vitally Dunkerley, Gordon Sun, Alex Pizzirani, Joshua Johnson, Zach Reshovsky, Maurice Ang, and Issy Figueroa
We are working on extending outreach efforts to different community schools, shelters, and hospitals. We are coordinating with local businesses to organize donation points for books.
Nearly 5000 books have been collected from four book drives. We are currently working to send these books to various homeless shelters. While we have only distributed part of the book collection, these are the organizations that we have helped so far:
We have distributed our book collection and expanded Food for the Mind to nearby high schools before we continue setting up book drives.
Thanks to one of our members, Zach Reshovsky, Food for the Mind has received approximately 300 books from a book drive at the Holy Names Academy in Seattle. These books were then donated to Overlake Hospital Medical Center.
Our first book drive was established at the origins of Food for the Mind, at Interlake High School (Bellevue, WA). The IHS administration has been very kind to allow the formation of Food for the Mind. After a long frustrating period of finding and decorating boxes for book donations, we spread these boxes to various English classes around the school. In order to motivate students to donate books, we turned the event into a competition to see which class period would collect the greatest amount of books. This idea was a huge success; the students of Interlake donated more than 2000 books. Our second book drive was established yet again the following year at Interlake High School. Through active promotion through school wide announcements, posters, and the class competition format, Food for the Mind was Able to collect over 1000 books. Meanwhile, Issy Figueroa got the help of the Junior State of America (JSA) to collect 126 books. Additionally, the Bread of Life Christian Church here in Bellevue donated 82 books. Even more books came from private donations. Thus, the overall amount of books collected from IHS, JSA, the Christian church, and private donations totals more than 2000 books! The Food for the Mind executive directors also arranged a donation from Half-Price Books at Crossroads Mall (Bellevue, WA). This generous donation yielded an additional 1000 books!
Food for the Mind (FFTM) is a student-driven organization dedicated to providing the needy members of our community with books.
Student-driven means that all of the work of collecting books, coordinating book drives and collaborating with partner organizations is done by students. However, adults do help us with things such as storing collected books and driving to pick up and drop off books.
Of course, our main focus at this point is to expand our operations. Simply put, we want to collect more books from more high schools and other locations and distribute them through more organizations and more locations. We would also like to become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, although we are already tax-exempt through our association with the Bellevue School District.
Anyone can help FFTM by doing a number of things:
We will accept anything with an ISBN number.We will gladly accept gently used books, even with some aesthetic damage. However, it is generally not possible to distribute books with unbound or ripped pages. Books for adults have a higher demand than children's books, but children's books are also acceptable. We will NOT accept user manuals, phone directories, used coloring books, old magazines, etc.
Monetary donations are tax-deductible, since we are a Bellevue School District student organization, which means donations to us basically count as donations to the school district. Donations of books are not tax-deductible, since it is difficult for us to quantify the value of the donated books.
You can send us an email.
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