by Timothy Leonard
Midwestern Region Student Representative, 2013-2015
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN
The majority of Sigma Tau Delta chapters have a book drive each year. However, many are looking for new and innovative ways to “jazz up” their drives beyond setting up a box in their department and hanging up flyers in the hope that students and faculty will donate books.
One suggestion is to partner with other groups and tap into the resources available at many universities. When I decided to run a book drive for my required service project as part of an internship, I contacted the head coach of the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) women’s basketball team and inquired about the possibility of the team helping to promote the book drive. I discovered the team also had to fulfill community service hours during their basketball season, and just that quick I had the partner I was looking for.
The project consisted of three parts:
The IPFW women’s basketball team home games would be the drop off point for students, faculty, and fans to donate new and used books. The marketing department also announced the book drive during the home games to remind individuals in attendance to bring new and used books at the next home game.
Members of my chapter worked the donations tables and assisted members of the basketball team in passing out and hanging up flyers.
Members of my chapter and I dropped off the donated books at the local YMCA After School Program after the final home game. (We chose the YMCA because they complied with NCAA rules.)
Not only did I meet the requirements for my internship, I also involved my chapter and our university women’s basketball team in a successful book drive to enhance literacy in children’s lives.
I encourage all chapters to think of other groups at their university that might be willing to collaborate on chapter projects. Many departments, athletic teams, and administrators must fulfill community service hours during the academic year, and most are willing to help and support each other. All you have to do is ask and be willing to perform the majority of the leg work. In the end, everyone benefits–you, your chapter, your partner(s), your school, and your community.
If you haven’t started a book drive for this semester, it’s not too late! Check out this opportunity to run an easy book drive with our strategic partner, Better World Books!