For as far back as I can remember I've loved books. Even before I was able to read them myself I remember curling up next to my mom on the couch as she read book after book to me. I remember her stopping at certain words and helping me to sound them out. I remember her telling me that a good and fluid reader looks head to the words that are coming. I remember watching her read books and I remember her encouraging us to read. She not only encouraged it but she fed our (my sisters and mine) addiction by buying hundreds of books for us.
I'm not sure what sold it for me but I grew up LOVING books and having a passion for reading. As a kid I would get in trouble for pretending to go to sleep, but then sneakily reading with a flashlight under the covers. My parents would always come back in and tell me I was going to ruin my eye sight that way! Or I can remember sitting at the dinner table with a book on my lap trying to peek down at the book because I just couldn't bare to put it down.
I'm still that way today. My love for reading has only grown over the years. When I start reading a good book I can stay up all night trying to finish it because I can't bear waiting until morning to find out what happens!
I recently heard of a book about a mother whose son (Samuel) passed away when he was just 6 weeks old from a rare birth defect. Since that time this mother has started the Joyful Life Library at Cardon Children's Medical Center. Cardons is a non-profit children's hospital that houses 248 pediatric beds in Mesa, AZ. The program was started almost exactly a year ago and its goal is that they will always have a stock of books for parents to read their kids. You can read the full story of Samuel's short life and this ministry at
I encourage you to run to the bookstore or grab your kids and scan their shelves for gently used books that you can donate to this amazing organization. Hardback, softcover, board books, and bilingual books from birth to 18 are welcome.
You can send them directly to the hospital at the below address or simply send a book to your local children's hospital. You never know how much a book can impact a kids life. Especially when that kid is stuck in a room and their only escape from the hospital reality is through the stories they read.
Cardon Children's Medical Center
Attention: Erin Sinnema,
Certified Child Life Specialist, PICU
1400 S. Dobson Ave
Mesa, AZ 85202