Becoming the Helpers

By Benay Hicks

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Fred Rogers

This quote, though frequently referenced, always gets me. It’s beautiful, and true – there are so many amazing people in this world. And yet… looking for the helpers can’t be the end of the story.

In a year like this one, I feel as though more and more people are refusing to simply find the helpers – they are becoming them! This was evident in the endless line of cars that came through our Dream Big Book Drive last week, and in the record number of books we’ve received this month (61,605 and still counting!). Our local community is actively helping provide books to local youth… YOU are the helpers others seek.

But helpers aren’t just in the Triangle; they are everywhere. And sometimes they show up in unlikely places.

Meet Hendrix.

Hendrix is a sweet, smart, and adorably social two-year old. He also loves books (we can relate!) and his mom, Lindsey, works hard to make sure he’s surrounded by them. Inspired by his joy of reading, and her awareness that many families don’t have libraries at home, Lindsey decided to host a book drive for his birthday each year and donate the books to Book Harvest. Last year, they collected 165 books. This year they set a goal of 175 books…ambitious for their small family, but they were committed to collect and donate as many as possible for our Dream Big Book Drive!

They were well on their way when it was announced that Nugget — our wonderful sponsor & partner –- wanted to surprise a Book Drive Captain with a free Nugget! Hendrix, one of our youngest Book Drive Captains, was selected as the winner. He and his mom attended Dream Big where they were surprised by Nugget and gifted the prize.

The best part?

Nugget posted the moment on social media with a link to donate to Hendrix’s book drive. Suddenly, strangers were shipping books from around the country (even Germany!) to Lindsey! For the past week, Lindsey and Hendrix have received box after box of books. Hendrix’s book drive – with an initial goal of 175 – has now brought in 302 books (with a week to go), and 54 people have contributed.

So. Many. Helpers.

Thank you to our Book Harvest community for not just seeking out the good stories, but for becoming them. For helping us create a world where every child has a library of books in their home, and every family has the support they need for early language development. And a special thank you to Hendrix, Lindsey & Family, and Nugget.

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