Youth collects, donates more than 2,000 books
CENTREVILLE — Lucas Hetzel, an 11-year-old from Stevensville, wanted to do something for his community and for children in need, something that would make another child’s day a little bit brighter. Lucas is the son of Analucia Hetzel, also of Stevensville. After discussing a few ideas with his family and because he enjoys reading, he decided on a book drive. Lucas contacted the Queen Anne’s County Department of Social Services and shared his vision, asking if he could donate any books collected to children at the Department of Social Services. He wanted to collect gently used children’s books for children birth to age 18.
Lucas began brainstorming lots of names for his project and in the end came up with New Life for Books. He spent time creating the collection boxes as well as monitoring and emptying them, doing neighborhood collections and even picking them up with his scooter.
Once he had the books back at home, he spent time going through them to make sure they were all appropriate and that the books were not abused in some manner. Lucas even sorted them by different categories (educational, picture, chapter, information, holiday, activity books, etc.). As his piles grew, he knew he was going to need many more boxes to put them in, so with his mother’s help, he collected boxes from local businesses — multiple times!
Because this is the first year for New Life for Books, Social Services staff thought Lucas would collect a couple hundred books, but Lucas had a vision and he had a plan. He was able to collect 2,000 books within just a few weeks and all of the books collected were donated to Queen Anne’s County Department of Social Services and partnering agencies.
If your children need something to read, Social Services says bring them in for a free book. “Thanks to Lucas Hetzel and his hard work, we have plenty,” said a Department of Social Services representative.
For more information on the project, contact Jone Taylor at 410-758-8026.
From left, Susan Coppage, Director Queen Anne’s County Department of Social Services, Lucas Hetzel, and Jone Taylor, Nurturing Coordinator QACDSS.