Over a decade ago, a former College of the Canyons librarian Marcia Decker was out visiting a library in La Crescenta after it had been newly renovated. She peeked into the dumpster expecting carpet and things similar, but what she saw horrified her.
The dumpster had been filled with books.
“She said, ‘This has to stop,’” said Sherry Kimbrel, president of Project: Books Inc. “She decided right then and there, Project Books was born.”
Project: Books Inc. was officially established as a nonprofit organization on April 11, 2011. The goal: to give books to those in need.
Project: Books Inc. has donated books to prisons, soup kitchens, community centers, child and family centers, hospitals, senior centers and most recently, the Newhall Community Center.
All of their books are kept in storage units until someone is in need.
However, ever since the founder’s death on Dec 31, 2021, the nonprofit has had its funds dwindling.
“Unfortunately, the money in the Project Books bank account is almost gone,” said Kimbrel.
The nonprofit originally had three storage units to work from. Now, they have downsized to two 10- by 20-foot units, completely filled with books. The monthly cost for these units is just under $500.
“Everybody’s working for free. Nobody’s getting paid,” said Kimbrel. “Any money that we scrape together, goes in the bank account that goes to paying for the storage.”
With all of these financial complications, Kimbrel worries if Decker’s and her end goal for Project: Books Inc. will ever be achieved.
“Our goal, even when Marcia was alive, was to get donated space to open up a free bookstore for the community,” said Kimbrel. “I think that the community would really profit from having this because I know there’s a lot of families out there, they have kids, they can’t afford books.”
Those wishing to donate to Project: Books Inc. can do so through their website, santaclaritaprojectbooks.com/donate.