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By Michelle Lewis

Books To Cheer UNC's Pediatric Cancer Clinic

By Michelle Lewis Posted November 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Have any gently used kids’ books lying around gathering dust? Want them to be loved and read anew? Then consider donating them to Karl’s Books.

Looking for a service project for your business, Scout troop, or place of worship? How about a book drive for Karl’s Books?

Karl’s Books donates new and gently used books to UNC Hospital’s Chapel Hill Pediatric Oncology Clinic. Kathy Humphries and her husband started Karl’s Books in 2007 after their 13-year-old son, Karl, died of a brain tumor.

The Humphries were grateful for the wonderful care their son received at UNC and wondered what they could do to give back. Karl’s doctor, Stuart Gold, noted how much Karl had loved to read and suggested that the Humphries might want to help fill the clinic’s bookcases with books patients could read and take home. The Humphries loved the idea and Karl’s Books was born.

Over the past four years, books and money have been donated to Karl’s Books by many individuals and organizations, including churches, schools, Scout troops, and 4-H clubs.

Recently students in Orange County’s 4-H Explorers club collected over 600 gently used books to donate. Why did they do it?


Photo by Kristin Lewis

“The kids in our club love to read,” explains 4-H Explorer Chase Lewis, “When we thought about the patients at the clinic, some of whom are our age, we could not imagine having to sit through all those appointments and treatments without being able to read. Reading is a great distraction.”

“Doing a book drive for the kids at the clinic felt so good,” notes 4-H Explorer Avery Myers, “It was easy for us to imagine the smiles on their faces as they as looked through all the great books.”

Patients at the clinic range from the very, very young to youth in their late teens. Most of the patients speak English, but some are Spanish-readers. So the range of books needed is very wide. “If your child liked the book, chances are that there are patients at the clinic who also would like the book,” explains Humphries.

In addition to book donations, Karl’s Books also accepts monetary donations. Monetary donations currently are being used to buy board books (for toddlers) and Spanish language books.

“I hope lots of people think about doing a book drive for Karl’s Books,” says 4-H Explorer Molly Carlson, “because those kids at the clinic really need to be able to escape into a good book.”

More information about Karl’s Books is available at: http://karlsbooks.blogspot.com/.

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