The University of Connecticut’s chapter of the National Organization for Women (UConn NOW) is collecting book donations for local schools and hospitals as part of an initiative to promote literacy and education in the community, according to an announcement on the UConn Events Calendar.
UConn NOW is a feminist organization that was founded in 1966, promoting gender equity on campus. The group’s most current mission statement stresses that “from unequal pay to continued gender violence, the need for equality is as strong as ever, and not just among women; but for individuals of all genders, races, ethnicities and orientations,” according to UConntact.
In addition to hosting events like movie screenings and a table on Equal Pay Day in April, the group organizes various events and charity drives to support local communities. Last year’s drive consisted of gathering sanitary products and winter clothing to give to Holy Family, a women and children’s center in Willimantic, UConn NOW President and seventh-semester English major Giorgina Paiella said.
“We were looking to organize another drive this semester, and we wanted to branch out and run a drive we haven’t done before,” Paiella said. “Literary and education is an issue central to gender equity, and we think this is a wonderful way to help out the local community.”
The drive began on Nov. 11, and will run until the Friday before winter break, Dec. 18. This is the first time UConn NOW has hosted the book drive, and it has been advertised through the Events Calendar, department emails and word of mouth, Paiella said.
“So far we’ve collected about eight large bags of books and several people have expressed interest in donating,” Paiella said.
UConn NOW is accepting books for any reading level, from children’s books and novels, to college textbooks and any other types of books, according to the UConn Events Calendar.
Children and young adult books will be donated to Natchaug Hospital, Windham Hospital and Windham schools. If the schools do not need the upper-level textbooks, UConn NOW plans to contact other local hospitals and schools to donate the books, Paiella said.
“Our goal is to be able to donate to as many places as possible, so this will depend on the level of response we get,” Paiella said.
Book donations can be dropped off in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department (WGSS) on the 4th floor of Beach Hall; the Women’s Center on the 4th floor of the Student Union; and at the Homer Babbidge Library across from the information desk.
Paiella said she hopes students saw the advertising for the drive earlier in November and were able to bring books back to campus after Thanksgiving break. She also hopes students will consider donating textbooks after the fall semester concludes.
“I always love organizing our charity drives,” Paiella said. “It’s really important to me that our group works to serve both UConn and the surrounding community so our advocacy doesn’t just exist within a college campus bubble.”
Paiella said any students interested in joining UConn NOW are always welcome to attend meetings. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.