COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A teen is giving the gift of literature this holiday season, and it’s being spread across Franklin County.
16-year-old Abby Worly is one of the leaders of the local “Read to Succeed Foundation,” a group of young people who collect books to spread the love of reading.
Worly delivered a cart full of children’s books to the Lutheran Social Services food pantry in South Columbus, to be given as gifts over the holidays.
“I held a book drive for the past 2 to 3 months to collect brand new children’s books — I did this through an Amazon wish list,” Worly explained. She surpassed her goal of 500 books, gathering more than 640.
Worly delivers the books on a monthly basis. Over the past three years, she’s gathered 20,000 books.
“There’s often children or parents who will come up to me and they’re like — ‘how much are these books?’ And were like, ‘they’re completely free! You can take as many as you like — take a couple!’”
LSS food pantry on S. Champion Street is one of 122 locations where Read to Succeed has a drop-off. Joel Call with LSS says it’s meant a lot to people who use the pantry.
“This will be gone. Probably by the end of two weeks, this will be severely depleted,” he explained.
Call says it’s especially important this time of year.
“We’ve served just over 5,500 clients on a monthly basis just in November — so it’s been an awesome service to our clients just to provide reading materials and gifts for their kids and grandchildren,” Call said.
Worly says they’re always looking for new places that might want a cart.
She’s been doing this for the past three years and it means the world to her.
“I’m just so thankful to the community for being so kind and so supportive of what I’m doing,” said Worly.