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Organization seeking books for treats

By Hannah DeClerk Marshall News Messenger
Oct. 13, 2010 at 2:10 a.m.

Parents don't have to worry about their children overindulging in candy this year, thanks to a local organization handing out "brain candy" instead.

Youth from the East Texas Open Door are collecting gently used children's books for its annual "Books For Treats" to be distributed during the Downtown Marshall Fall Festival Oct. 28.

"The kids are very excited, and I think a lot of people would love to have a good place to pass the books on," said East Texas Open Door Recreation Director Donna Majors. "Now that (their children) have outgrown them, I encourage people to sell them in a garage sale, redistribute them and keep books alive and moving."

Ms. Majors said over the last few years volunteers at the East Texas Open Door have collected and distributed more than 500 books to local children.

"We cannot collect enough books," said Ms. Majors. "I thought the first year we had enough, 350 to 400 books, and it turned out we needed twice as many."

She explained she first heard of the idea for handing out books instead of candy from an article online.

"What I initially read about it, I thought 'what kid is going to want a book? They are going to want candy'," she said. "But they were so glad to get the books. I could only give them one, and the kids were still just thrilled."

The books will be sorted into age groups at the East Texas Open Door's booth at the Downtown Marshall Fall Festival, and each child will be given one book.

"A lot of people come out for the festival," said Ms. Majors. "It is fun to go to a place like that, even more fun than trick or treating."

Book drop-off locations are at East Texas Door Office, 401 Grand Ave.; The Marshall Public Library; and the Weisman Center.

The East Texas Open Door also will pick up books left from a garage sale and will even provide a tax receipt.

"We want to keep this going year after year," she said. "So clean up those old bookcases and bring them over or we will come and pick them up."

The East Texas Open Door is a non-profit organization serving adolescents with emotional and behavioral issues with two components, a 28-bed licensed residential treatment center and a 15-bed general residential operation, according to the Marshall Chamber of Commerce web site

For more information on "Books for Treats" or East Texas Open Door contact Donna Majors at 903=-935-2099.



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