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Host a Virtual Book Drive to Support Your Local United Way Program

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Create Your Own Virtual Book Drive

Is your United Way looking for a way to galvanize people around early grade reading?  How about a virtual book drive? United Way and First Book (www.firstbook.org) are partnering to make it easy for you to get brand-new books to kids who most need them.

  • Engage your community online for a short-term “book raising.”  You’ll create buzz and excitement – and raise money for books. Every dollar goes to books; most United Ways raise about $2,000, which buys 800 books. (average $2.50/brand new book from the First Book Marketplace)
  • A toolkit to help you promote your Virtual Book Drive can be found here: Toolkit - Word Document  |  Toolkit - PDF
  • All funds raised will be used to get books from the First Book Marketplace.  Coordinate with your United Way’s funded agencies and community partners to plan a book distribution event together.
  • Create a community engagement opportunity around your Virtual Book Drive. Work with your United Way to stage a book distribution event for volunteers.
  • Leverage your book distribution event to sign up volunteer readers, tutors or mentors. For example, someone can donate $10 to buy 4 books, take part in a book distribution event (like stuffing backpacks for summer programs), and sign up right there to spend an hour a week reading books with first graders in the fall.

It will make a difference in your community. Kids who don’t have books – or an adult reading with them – don’t read as well.  And kids who don’t read well, don’t do well in school.  Children who aren’t strong readers by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school.  Books and interactive reading help build reading skills – and academic success.

Donate to an existing United Way Virtual Book Drive

If a Local United Way or United Way Women’s Council in your community has already setup a page than you can make your donation here.  In most cases you will have received an email or text with a direct link, but you can also search for their page.


To learn more about First Book’s mission to provide free and low-cost books to programs and schools serving kids in need, please visit our website at http://www.firstbook.org.