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Valley virtual book drive aiming to collect thousands of books for local families in need

The "Grow a Reader" book drive runs through May, making it easy for supporters to fill Southwest Human Development's Warehouse, with a few clicks online.
Credit: Jen Wahl

PHOENIX — With May swiftly coming to an end, Southwest Human Development's "Grow a Reader" virtual book drive is just days from wrapping up. The book drive, which is online, puts books in the hands of Valley children in need, thanks to generous donors. 

The goal is to collect 10,000 books during 2022's drive. Jake Adams, Chief Development Officer with Southwest Human Development, said they still need a few thousand books to hit their goal. 

The non-profit kicks off the drive every year. It's something needed in the Valley community, as research has shown, 61 percent of low-income families in America don't have books in their homes for children. 

Individuals or businesses interested in supporting the virtual drive, can buy books through Southwest Human Development's online donation cart. Book prices start at $3.99 and are eligible for a dollar-for-dollar Arizona charitable tax credit of up to $800.

Ruben Gonzalez, a Valley dad, has benefited from programs with the non-profit. He said they have strengthened his one-year-old daughter's development. 

“We know a child’s brain develops the most between zero to five," Gonzalez said. "Courses like this really help you as a parent learn how to take advantage of all of the little moments like eating or changing diapers or getting ready for bed time. You can take advantage of all of those moments to make a learning experience for your kids."

The non-profit added the Steve Nash Foundation, Mountain America Credit Union and Libraries Ltd. have pledged matching donations to any contributions made this month totaling over $13,000. 

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