CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) – A Camden County girl went to businesses around her neighborhood and asked them to help her with a book drive. Here’s a look at what she’s achieved.
Thousands of books arrive at CAMcare in Camden, all because a girl thought everyone deserved to have a book.
“I found out that lots of kids don’t actually have any books at all,” 14-year-old Charlotte Olson, of West Berlin, said. “So I started collecting and then it grew into this big thing.”
It all started when Charlotte and her family took a trip to Haiti a few years ago.
“Several times she said on the trip, ‘Mom, I’m so spoiled. I have everything,’” Charlotte’s mother, Victoria, said. “Looking around that the kids we were spending time with, you just realize they had nothing.”
Charlotte quickly learned it wasn’t just children in Haiti without books, it was children in her own backyard.
So two years ago, she started to collect books.
“The first book drive I did, there was a little girl in the office who actually had never had a book before, and I got to give her a book and I actually read it to her too,” Charlotte said.
Since then, with the help of her family, Charlotte has partnered with an organization called Reach Out and Read. It helps give the donated books to health care professionals who emphasize the importance of reading with a child.
Gina Colaizzo is a pediatric nurse practitioner who handles the Reach Out and Read program at CAMcare. She is very impressed and grateful for the work Charlotte has done so far.
“It’s an amazing thing that she has done, and this isn’t even the first time. We really value these books because we are working in parts of the state where these kids really have no access to libraries, healthcare, resources,” Colaizzo said.
Charlotte is on her third book drive in two years and this giving heart doesn’t plan on stopping.
“This time my goal was 2,500, but we reached over 4,000 books,” Charlotte said. “They’re heavy though!”
“This donation is something,” Colaizzo said. “We are so appreciative, I don’t even know how to thank her, honestly.”