Lehigh Valley

Proof Positive: Judith's Reading Room

Proof Positive: Judith's Reading Room

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - At Judith's Reading Room in Bethlehem they have a passion for changing lives through literature.

"In just three years we have opened 52 libraries in nine countries, in six states," explained Co-Founder Cathy Leiber.

The non-profit was started in 2010. So far, Judith's Reading room has donated 57,000 books, worth about $600,000, to people who don't have access to printed reading material.

"We go through every book by hand that is donated to make sure that there are no scribble marks in them, that there is no highlighting in them, that the back cover is intact," shared Leiber.

And the man-power behind this work is all done by volunteers.

"Judith's Reading Room thrives because of volunteers," Leiber smiled.

Hundreds of people giving up their time keep the non-profit up and running.

"Each month a group of volunteers come right here to Judith's Reading Room and we box books for the troops."

The boxing parties are held the first Monday of every month, and you get to choose what books to ship to the soldiers stationed abroad.

"Take books and write down the authors and the price," described volunteer Christopher Dew. "And then we put them in boxes."

Volunteers of any age are welcome. 11-year-old Christopher has volunteered six times so far, and 14-year-old Crystal Lusso has logged more than 20 hours at Judith's Reading Room this summer.

"It makes me feel great," smiled Lusso. "It makes me feel like I'm actually doing something for my community and it makes me feel happy inside."

If you don't have your time to give, you can still help out. Judith's Reading room is always accepting book donations.

"They can donate gently read books, adult books," said Leiber. "Children's books are our biggest need because we need so many children's books to satisfy the demands in our community."

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