Categorized | Education, Featured, Volunteering

Big Island Press Club donates over $1,000 worth of books to Toys for Tots


Big Island Press Club has donated $1,000 for the purchase of children's books to be delivered for Christmas by Toys for Tots. Press Club vice-president for 2010, Tiffany Edwards Hunt, checked out the books with her daughter Coco. With them are current Press Club president Peter Serafin (in hat) and Ellsworth Fontes, president of Toys for Tots.

Focusing on children 8 to 12 years old, the Big Island Press Club has donated books valued at over $1,000 to Toys for Tots for delivery as Christmas presents.

The purchase of the books at Borders was inspired by the book store’s program which allows individuals to buy books for Toys for Tots, said Press Club president Peter Serafin.

“One of our members, who asked to remain anonymous, noticed the Borders book donation program and realized that a donation would be appropriate from our club,” Serafin said. The donor then made the $1,000 contribution.

“Clearly, journalism is based on literacy,” Serafin said.

“More specifically, the donor feels that having children grow up with paper reading material in their hands will contribute to them wanting to hold real newspapers in their hands when they grow up. This is the Press Club’s small effort to help preserve newspapers in the face of growing competition from Internet news sources,” Serafin said.

Toys for Tots Hilo president Ellsworth Fontes urged the focus on ages 8 to 12. People are very willing to donate stuffed animal toys for very young children, but gifts appropriate for slightly older children are never enough to meet the need, Fontes said.

Toys for Tots serves some 3,000 needy children, he said. The organization was assisted in selecting books by representatives from the state Department of Human Services and the private Child and Family Services.

Founded in 1967, the Press Club has been giving journalism scholarships to college students since it was formed. Anyone wishing to support the ongoing scholarship effort or the new children’s books effort may make tax-deductible donations to the club’s sister organization, BIPC Scholarship Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 1920, Hilo, HI 96721.

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