Volunteers help with United Way’s Books for Kids Program

About 16,000 books will be shipped to children in the Greater Mankato Area, free of charge.
About 6,000 books will be shipped to children in the Greater Mankato Area, free of charge.
Updated: Oct. 27, 2020 at 6:38 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -Volunteers are spending the week preparing around 16,000 books to be shipped to area children.

Greater Mankato Area United Way’s Books for Kids Program ships around 4,000 books every other month to children in Blue Earth, Le Seuer, Nicollet, Waseca counties, free of charge.

But due to COVID-19, the program’s mailing has been delayed. That’s why volunteers have come together to help the program catch up.

“We have a special mailing going out, getting all the kids their 2020 books. We have volunteers here all week helping us put together our special mailers we have the (Mayo Clinic Health System Event ) civic center letting us use their space very generously and we have other community partners helping make this happen," said Greater Mankato Area United Way Communications and Marketing Director, Laura Murray.

Children of all income levels ages 2 months to 4 years old can be apart of the books program.

“It’s all part of the idea on how important literacy is and giving kids that direct access to books so they can start their home libraries and begin that level of reading early on in life," said Murray.

The program is made possible through the donations of free books through Capstone Publishing.

“We’ve been doing it for 18 years and we are very pleased and proud to be associated with United Way. We think that literacy is a great foundational skill that will help children with their lives," said Bob Coughlan of Capstone Publishing.

“I have grandchildren that love to read and it’s a great joy for parents to share reading with their kids,” added Coughlan.

Since 1997, the partnership has distributed around 30,000 annually to children throughout the Greater Mankato Area.

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