Hattiesburg groups team up to give the gift of reading - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg groups team up to give the gift of reading for Christmas

This Christmas why not give a child the gift of reading?

That is the sentiment shared by Deanna Favre, Friends of the University Libraries, The Salvation Army and Father Tommy Conway.

All four have teamed up to kick off the second annual Give a Child a New Book Day Thursday morning at the Cook Library Art Gallery at the University of Southern Mississippi.  The group is collecting brand new, donated books to give to the Salvation Army, who will distribute them to needy children from infants to 12 years olds.

Last year, Give a Child a Book collected over 3,000 books. This year the group hopes to break that record. Father Conway, chairman of the initiative, says the group is working to improve Christmas for children in the pine belt, and that includes putting a book in the hands of a child.

"This year we set a goal of 5,000, but I think we are upping it already, maybe we are shooting for ten thousand," said Conway. There has been a lot of enthusiasm already, a lot of people are already excited to get on board with us.

"The Favre Foundation and Father Tommy at St. Thomas Aquinas Church will gather those books over the next few weeks, and then they get those to us as we do our Angel Tree distributions," said Captain Andy Gilliam of the Hattiesburg Salvation Army.

"I would love to see the community helping out, leading a hand and just understanding the importance of this part of the education process," said Deanna Favre of the Favre4Hope Foundation in Hattiesburg.

The initiative is looking for volunteers, and businesses to help,  so those interested should contact Fr. Conway at 601-264-5192.

November 2, Christmas donation boxes will be at St. Thomas Catholic Church, the Cook Library at southern Miss, Southern Pine Electric Power Association, and Main Street Books in Hattiesburg. For more information on this initiative and a list of location to donate call 601-323-8036

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