Youth col­lects, do­nates more than 2,000 books

Record Observer - - Front Page -

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.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

From left, Susan Cop­page, Di­rec­tor Queen Anne’s County De­part­ment of So­cial Ser­vices, Lu­cas Het­zel, and Jone Tay­lor, Nur­tur­ing Co­or­di­na­tor QACDSS.

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