Earlier this year, au pairs in Portland, Oregon spent time volunteering at the Children’s Book Bank. The mission of The Children’s Book Bank is to fill children’s homes and lives with beautiful, engaging books. Volunteers at the Children's Book Bank have become the "heart and soul of the organization,” by serving children and supporting early literacy and book diversity. The Book Bank relies heavily on volunteers to prepare donated books to be given to the kids.
The volunteer tasks include cleaning book covers, erasing scribbles, and taping torn pages. Keletso, an au pair from South Africa said, "It’s said that the giving of one's time to others is the best gift one can give. I fully agree. I loved and enjoyed volunteering at the Children’s Book Bank mainly because by preparing books and putting them in the best condition, a disadvantaged child is able to have them and enjoy the amazing stories those books carry. I love this initiative."
The two-hour volunteer session was a great opportunity for au pairs to reminisce about their favorite books and bond with each other. Isa, an au pair from Brazil stated, "The Children's Book Bank was awesome! It is good to know we have people that care about child literacy. This work makes me believe that the outlook for the future generation will be bright. Being a part of this is very gratifying. In addition, it was also relaxing and fun because I got to talk and laugh a lot with the other volunteers and au pairs at the table."
At the end of the session, everyone had a chance to reflect and share how the experience made them feel. The au pairs were touched and felt very proud to be a part of this community.