by Meghan O’Donnell, MBA candidate, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
On January 19th (MLK Day), I joined countless volunteers to help Book Harvest put on its largest annual fundraiser Dream Big – and collect tens of thousands of books for children. It was a gorgeous winter day, made even more beautiful by the generosity of families, schools and corporations in the Triangle Area. And as I sat at the table at the front of the event, greeting each event guest and donor, I was reminded of how many books I read as a kid. My parents stressed the importance of reading since before I was old enough to read on my own. Every night before I went to bed my parents would read to me Madeline, or anything from Shell Silverstein, Thomas the Train Engine that Could – you name it – and when I became old enough to read on my own I started devouring Frog and Toad books, the Box Car Children and Nancy Drew, before making my way to nonfiction history pieces. Reading opens your mind and lets you escape to far way lands; it allows you to learn about and experience other people and cultures; it makes you a more interesting person. And this passion for reading that I found at such a young age is just one of the reasons that I love working with Book Harvest. It is such a wonderful organization committed to making reading accessible and easier for kids in the area, and hoping to fuel passion for reading at a young age, and allowing kids to dream big. Though my volunteer tenure with Book Harvest is nearing its end, I look forward to helping at next year’s event again and helping Book Harvest surpass its fundraising goals.