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A book drive in Omaha collected new and gently used books to donate to local schools and homeless shelters

In Omaha, we collected new and gently used books to donate to children before the holidays. Books came in from Bergan Mercy Hospital, Project Harmony and Metropolitan Community College. Cash donations were also sent from family and friends, in remembrance of my mom, Jean Carlat. Our project was successful beyond our wildest dreams! All counted, we collected 1209 books, which we stamped with “donated by”. One school that received our donations is located in downtown Omaha and serves the lower income and Latino children in that area. We donated enough books that each student will have a book to take home. The other 40 percent of the books will go to a daycare run by Catholic Charities, where every child will receive a book and our adult and young adult books will be dispersed to people in their homeless shelter.

This has been a very constructive project for me. Each time someone brought one book or several, I had a good cry remembering Tyler and feeling the loss. As the books piled up, I realized he would be so proud to have his name associated with this book drive, and that made me proud. It is my intention to do this yearly, and I can barely wait until May.

−Leslie Kwasnieski

It is always great to give back during the holidays, so when Leslie Kwasnieski approached me to help with a children’s book drive I was excited to get to work. I have been involved in a number of community service projects, but I had never helped with a book drive so I was excited to help with this Communityler project. I place a high value on education so it was really rewarding to promote learning within the local community. I loved books when I was young and as we sorted through what was donated, it was a blast to find a number of titles that I read myself growing up. The support we received through donations was fantastic and the project was a great success. Everyone who chipped in was pleased with the results and had a great time working together. We all felt a great sense of pride knowing that we helped the community on behalf of Tyler Lorenzi and the organization that does this great work in remembrance of him.

−Patrick Falke

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