Generations of charity converged Monday at Eastlake Church as thousands of book donations came in from retirees and elementary school students alike.
A five-ho ur drive brought more than 1,500 books and $800 to Oklahoma City from senior living community Buckner Westminster Place in Longview, Texas. Meanwhile, a lemonade stand within the city brought in 2,000 books and $705 for Moore Books for Moore Kids to the same church on the same day.
At the end of the 10-day book drive at Westminster Place, books were stacked high on tables in the living center's common area.
“The thing about east Texas is we have a lot of tornadoes as well, so a lot of the people have been there and have felt the devastation,” center spokesman Blake Lambert said. “When you've been there before and people have helped you, you're going to give back.”
It wasn't until center leadership found Moore Books online that the helping began.
Many of the retirees are former educators or librarians and most of them have kids, grandkids or great grandchildren, center director Wes Wells said.
“I think they just really felt like they wanted to do something to impact children's lives,” Wells said.
So the 175 residents — with an average age of about 88-years-old — spread word of the book drive to their families while center staff gathered donations from local bookstores.
Some of the staff went to a local grocery store and bought every kid's book there for $1 apiece. They put the books on a table in the common room so residents could come pick out and purchase books