05 May

United Way Kicks Off Children’s Book Drive

United Way and Women United Partner with Community for Annual Children’s Book Drive throughout May

Effort in support of Books Are Wings invites local businesses, community organizations, families and individuals to participate in any one of a number of ways

Providence, R.I. (May 5, 2021) In what’s become one of the state’s largest efforts in support of childhood literacy, United Way of Rhode Island and its Women United group have kicked off their annual children’s book drive. Throughout the month of May, local businesses, community organizations, families and individuals are invited to participate in any one of a number of ways.

Over the past 8 years, the drive has helped to put 216,675 free books in the hands of local children through its partnership with Books Are Wings.

“We’re particularly excited about this year’s drive – this is an initiative that our community really comes out for and gets behind,” said Cortney Nicolato, United Way’s president and CEO. “Reading, and a love for stories, is something we all can relate to. Unfortunately, too many children lack access to the age-appropriate books critical to developing proficient literacy skills.”

A year after the pandemic led to a scaled back collection, the drive now offers a variety of options for the community to participate in whatever way they feel is most safe.

Businesses, community groups, and families may host collections, inviting colleagues, friends and neighbors to drop-off books to a designated bin or location. Companies with remote employees may coordinate a drive-through effort, offering a contactless outdoor collection with United Way and Books Are Wings available to staff the event. And, there’s a virtual option in which books can be purchased from an online Wish List of titles curated by Books Are Wings and shipped directly to the organization. Additionally, there are a number of community drop-off sites:

Books Are Wings (please call first: 401-475-4882)
Pawtucket: 1005 Main Street

Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses
West Warwick: 1681 Quaker Lane (Route 2)
South Attleboro, MA: 999 Newport Avenue
Swansea, MA: 1 Furniture Way

Centreville Bank
West Warwick: 1218 Main Street

East Providence Library
41 Grove Avenue

McQuade’s Marketplace
Westerly: 106 Main Street

Pawtucket Credit Union
All branch locations statewide

Savoy Bookshop & Café
Westerly: 10 Canal Street

United Way of RI (please call first: 401-444-0714)
Providence: 50 Valley Street

For questions about the book drive, or to request a book pick-up, please contact Lori DiMatteo at
bookdrive@unitedwayri.org, or (401) 444-0714.


United Way of Rhode Island is uniting our community and resources to build racial equity and opportunities for all Rhode Islanders. A member of the world’s largest nonprofit network, we bring together individuals, business, nonprofit, community leaders and government to tackle the root causes of inequity and achieve specific, measurable goals. Our programs include 211, the statewide front door connecting Rhode Islanders with social services, resources, and vital programs. Both directly and through grants to nonprofits, we are investing to build economic opportunity, advance childhood learning, expand philanthropy, and to drive policy and participation. To learn more, visit unitedwayri.org, or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

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