The Bookstore’s Christmas gift is literacy to children

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BYU Bookstore partnered with United Way’s Christmas Literacy Giving Tree in November to donate books to children 18-months to 16 years old in an effort to spread the “gift of literacy.”

United Way has worked with the BYU Bookstore every Christmas season for the last three years. According to a press release, donated books will go to the Utah County Sub for Santa program, the Utah County Angel Tree Program or the Utah County Everyday Learners Program. Donations will be open until Dec. 15.

Giving Tree drop boxes are at each bookstore checkout stand

Hillary Millecam, the Bookstore’s marketing specialist, said it is important that students participate because it is a good way to help children improve their standard of living. “If anybody needs help from us, I believe it’s children,” Millecam said. “If we help them now, we can give them a fair and equal chance to succeed academically by giving them the gift of literacy and reading.

In previous years, students, faculty or visitors could only purchase a book from the Giving Tree to participate. This year anyone can also donate a dollar to United Way to help buy new books for donation. Millecam said it’s an easy way for students to be involved in a cause that she feels obligated to be a part of.

“I think that as students we sometimes forget how much support we get from others to help us succeed in our education,” she said. “We have been given the opportunity to get an education and learn so we can improve our living conditions, and I feel obligated to help the next generation receive the same learning opportunities.”

Yulee Smith, who also works as a marketing specialist at the Bookstore, said this year gives students an easier way to donate. “Now students can make a huge difference without having to gauge their pocketbooks,” Smith said. “It’s a great opportunity to give back.”

Giving Tree Drop boxes are set next to each cashier desk in the Bookstore. Smith hopes by making it easier for people to donate, the Bookstore will see an increase in participation from the last few years.

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