Press Release Below:
(From left to right) Joseph Choi, Steffi Chua and Alex Venetis
"This project was started in the beginning of January just 10 weeks ago. Our initial estimation for this entire book drive was going to be 2,000 books, but we never could've imagined that we would end up with over 10,000," says Joseph Choi, one of The BIG Book Drive coordinators. "The generosity from the Lower Mainland community is simply incredible."
These books are going towards the Salvation Army in support of their Family Services and their other literacy-related programs. According to Literacy BC, 40% of adults in British Columbia do not have the literacy skills needed to fully participate and succeed in today’s world. This presents over one million people who are under-equipped to cope with society's increasing informational demands. Having low literacy rates increases poverty and crime which hinders economic productivity; it indirectly affects our personal health and well-being overall. The BIG Book Drive team wants to give these low-income families and children access to these books so that they could gain the literacy skills to succeed.
"We are really thankful for all the help the Salvation Army has given us since the beginning," says Choi. "We feel very honoured to have received such incredible support from them, and by helping us carry out what we wanted to do by supplying us with their own resources."
The BIG Book Drive team would've never been able to achieve this feat if it were not for the help and support from their sponsors, including The Salvation Army, Richmond Scouts, Lansdowne Centre, Black Bond Books, Kin's Farm Market, Literacy BC, Cornerstone Printing, SFU Bookstore and TrendzPrintMedia, as well as the help of volunteers from the Richmond Scouts and The Salvation Army. The team would like to thank these organizations for their contributions in making this event a success.
"It is the Lower Mainland community who should be proud of what they have come together to achieve," says Steffi Chua. "There are so many children, teenagers, and young adults who don't have access to books that can improve their literacy skills. It's fortunate to see that as soon as we sent the word of an opportunity to help these individuals, these book donors jumped right on board."
"We are privileged to be able to attend a university like SFU," added Alex Venetis. "If it were not for our education, we never would have been able to make this happen. There's so many people out there who can benefit from these books; all it takes is a community with the desire to make that happen. Together, we can make a difference in someone's life."
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