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My experience of being a Books Collection Volunteer in Big At Heart's Book Santa Project

Books are essential to every child’s development, it provides them with knowledge, and cultivates their imagination. So when I first came to know about the Big At Heart BookSanta project, I wasted no time and signed myself up immediately. I believe that learning and knowledge should not be a privilege; all kids should have the access to the same knowledge as any of us.

I made an announcement through my mother on the condo’s WhatsApp group asking for pre-loved books that people would be willing to donate. A box was left outside my house for people to drop their books in to avoid contact, in adherence with safe distancing measures.

The first day yielded great results, we received over 50 books. In the following days, the number of books donated was quite low. I realized that people needed an incentive to pack all their old books and bring them over. I made another announcement on the WhatsApp group, saying there would be goodies for the children who donated their books. We left a bowl next to the collection box filled with chocolates and candies. Additionally, I asked my 8-year-old brother to tell all his friends about it. We once again saw an increase in the number of books donated. By the time we started packing the books for delivery to the BookSanta project, we had received nearly 200 books- 123 books for (7-16)-year-olds and 62 books for (0-6)-year-olds, packed in three boxes totalling 185 books.

Initially, we planned to deliver the books via grab but were happy to learn that there was a volunteer willing to pick up the books and drop them off.

Taking part in the project truly brought me a sense of fulfillment. I realized that I truly wanted to give back more to the community, and I believe the best gift you can give someone is knowledge and education. Subsequently, I signed up for a program by the Ain Society to tutor underprivileged children with cancer. I am now tutoring a secondary 4 NT student in math and will continue to do so for the whole of 2022.

I look forward to making this a Christmas tradition and getting involved in the BookSanta project every year.

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