Interact club hosts first-ever book drive at Hills

The book drive is being held until March 5. Students and staff are able to donate gently used books in drop boxes in the lobby.

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Briana Keenan

One of the drop-boxes for the book drive in the Pascack Hills lobby.

On Feb. 18, Interact, a service club at Pascack Hills, had a meeting via Google Meet, which mainly consisted of updates for their upcoming book drive. The book drive began Feb. 22 and runs until March 5. Students and staff will be able to drop off gently used books in drop boxes that Señora Olszewski-Garcia, Interact’s advisor, placed in the lobby. These exclude bibles, encyclopedias, and dictionaries. 

All of the donations will be going to an organization called Better World Books at the end of next week. 

Olszewski-Garcia explained the origins of the book drive. “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Interact is not able to participate in many of its community outreach programs. Usually at this time in the school year, Interact would be taking monthly trips to help out at the food pantry in Hillsdale,” she said.  “Unfortunately, that was not possible.”

She continued, “the Interact officers brainstormed and came up with alternate ways to help others. One of those ideas came from [Hills student] Rebecca Singleton. She researched and found an organization that donates half of the collected books to communities in need.” 

Usually at this time in the school year, Interact would be taking monthly trips to help out at the food pantry in Hillsdale. Unfortunately, that was not possible.”

— Michele Olszewski-Garcia, Interact advisor

The advisor continued to explain that Better World Books sells some of the used books they receive, and the organization uses part of their earnings to fund literacy programs and educational non-profit organizations. Two other organizations that Better World Books partners with are Books for Africa and Feed the Children. 

Chrissy Michelis, a Hills senior and Interact officer, commented on how she thinks the book drive will impact the community. 

“I think this book drive is a great, new idea because not only will it help people in need locally, but around the world. The Interact Club has been trying to find an organization to donate to, but many were not accepting donations due to Covid-19, so we’re just really happy that we could find a place to help out,” she said. 

I think this book drive is a great, new idea because not only will it help people in need locally, but around the world.”

— Chrissy Michelis, Hills senior and Interact officer

Kelly Quinn, a junior at Hills and member of the club since her freshman year, added, “I believe that the upcoming book drive will impact the community greatly, and we as a community will begin to look past the Hills community and into other communities affected by these difficult times. Even though the whole world is facing a pandemic head-on, I believe that small acts of kindness –– such as donating a non-damaged book –– will bring the community together.” 

Though the book drive is happening for the first time this year, Olszewski-Garcia said that Interact “absolutely plans to continue running the book drive” in the future, and is grateful for the support from the students and staff at Hills. 

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Quinn re-emphasized the impact of support from the Hills community.

“Solely contributing a book could mean the world to a family in a different community, and so I believe that this book drive will make our community think about other communities in these difficult times,” Quinn stated.