Cleveland area teenager student Julia Foos takes summer reading seriously. She takes it so seriously that over the last three years Julia has helped to collect and donate over 25,000 books to make sure kids all over Cleveland can get their summer reading done too.
When she was 14, Julia read an article about children from low-income families in Cleveland who don’t have easy access to books. Being an avid reader since age 6, the article hit home for her.
“That really upset me because I’ve always loved to read,” says Julia. “I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I didn’t have that chance… I was like, ‘I really think I should do something. I have the ability to do something.'”
Julia initially set out to collect 250 books that are either new or used but in good shape, hoping to donate them to nonprofit groups in Cleveland that focus on literacy. But fast forward three years and the number of books Julia has helped donate is over 25,000.
She personally reaches out to businesses, schools, and families in search of books they’d be willing to donate. Julia gathers as many as she can and donates them to several Cleveland-area charities that can distribute them to kids in need of more books in their life.
“They’re going to kids in lower-income families who maybe aren’t able to get to a library, or who don’t have access to books at home,” Julia explains.
Julia has spent much of her summer in her basement, which needless to say, is filled with books she has collected this year. Last summer, Julia needed to rent a moving truck in order to deliver all the books she collected to various charities.
“I think caring about something is one thing,” says Julia’s mom, Heather Foos. “But actually taking action to try to make a difference is on a different level, and we’re so proud of her.”
Before heading off to college in the fall, Julia is hoping to collect and donate another 10,000 books. You can follow her efforts on a Facebook page she’s created called Books Offer Opportunities for Kids.