Books Change Lives -- Thank YOU!!!
November 2020
Thanks to You...
RIF of NOVA Books are Changing Lives!

Little princess w princess book
Superhero w books
Older sisters w Clifford 2
To all who contributed...

...during our 2020 appeal, Votes for Women -- Votes for Books, thank you. Your donations make book distributions like the one at Patrick Henry K-8 School in Alexandria happen...even in a pandemic! During this October book give-away, students and teachers could dress in a Halloween costume...and there was practically a traffic jam to choose books! How cool is that!!!

During the 2020 appeal, donors gave just over $15,000 -- meeting and exceeding our goal!!! More importantly, it means means that 5,000 children in our NOVA community will be able to choose a book of their very own, often for the first time ever. Whoo hoo!!!
Ingrid Bynum w witch
Little dinosaur w books
Families "don't have to choose between essential reading materials and food."
If you ever wonder if your contributions make a difference...please listen to Ingrid Bynum, principal of Patrick Henry K-8 School. Originally from an impoverished area of Richmond, she credits the RIF books she received as a child for changing her life -- just as RIF of NOVA books are changing the lives of children from her school today.
Kids from Patrick Henry know what books mean, too!
Meanwhile, at ACCA, the Annandale Christian Community for Action, a RIF of NOVA book distribution was a smash hit! Just look at these faces!
When you get a new book of your very own, you hug it and love it with pure joy!
A Halloween book deserved an appropriate response, when the ghosts are spooked by a tiny white mouse!!!
Thanks, too, for Your Votes for Inspirational Women !
As part of our 2020 appeal, we asked you to vote for and send in stories about a woman who inspires or inspired you. Many of you responded with amazing stories of love, dedication, and support. Votes were cast for grandmothers, mothers, daughters, friends, colleagues, and inspirational women in history. More stories will be featured in this newsletter in the coming months. If you would like to read them all, please go to our website page, linked here. You are sure to feel inspired!
Board member Melba Smith-Dudley cast her vote for a collective of inspirational women -- the Delta suffragists -- "for their bravery and service to humanity."
The Delta Sigma Theta sorority was founded in January 1913 by 22 collegiate women at Howard University. These students wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to those in need. In March 1913, the sorority's founders performed their first public act. Despite discouragement from those who did not want them to participate, along with the tremendous risk of violence and potential harm, all 22 took part in the first major event for the women's suffrage movement, the March 3, 1913 Women's Suffrage March in Washington, D.C.

For more on the Deltas and their courage and commitment to attaining the right to vote for black women, please see this article from the Washington Post.
From Susan Akroyd:

I vote in memory of my mom, Jane Akroyd. Mom came to the U.S. from Sweden at the age of two, entering with her mom through Ellis Island. When she started elementary school, they skipped her a grade level even though she had originally spoken no English! She loved learning and particularly reading. She met my dad on Bradley Beach in New Jersey, where he was walking his dog. He left for the Pacific Fleet during World War II, and they married upon his return.

My brother was born with a heart defect and lived to the age of 15. Mom let him lead as normal a life as possible, never doting, but always there for him and all of us. Books filled my brother's room and mine, too. We loved books so much that I started a library in the garage for the neighborhood. There were hundreds of books! My mom encouraged me every step of the way!
From Judi Martino:

I cast my vote in memory of my mother Mackall Blincoe because she introduced me to books at a young age, helping me to learn to read before I started first grade. I was the child who read under the covers at night and remember reading Gone with the Wind in only three days.

Mama read constantly. She liked romance novels, some with mysteries worked into the plot. I like mysteries, too, and treasure my entire set of Nancy Drew books. I read almost all of the books Mama had collected from 1915 forward, like her Prudence books, much like the series books the kids read now. Mama kept reading until she was just too ill to hold even her paperback books. It was then I read to her as she had read to me as a child and when I was very ill in my teens. I am proud to say I am known as the book lady within our family, with children and friends, too. Mama always told me that the "gift" of reading was the greatest gift you could ever give yourself and your children.
Nine NOVA RIF supporters who contributed stories of inspirational women will soon receive a copy of Women: The National Geographic Image Collection. They are: Susan Akroyd, Sheryl Asen, Christian Colton, Linda Goldberg, Krista Hunt, Kathleen O'Sullivan Keane, Judi Martino, John McLaughlin, and Robert Smith. Thank you again for your votes for such influential women in support of our 2020 campaign.
Votes for Inspirational Women from Kids!

A few children voted for an inspirational woman in their lives. One is a grandmother; another an author. Thanks to McKenzie Watt and brothers Declan, Damien, and Dash Head for participating. They will soon receive their prize -- a copy of the book Women Win the Vote.
Mema (Jane Head), shown with grandsons Damien, Dash, and Declan (l-r) in 2017. Dash's hand-drawn "vote" pretty much shows it all -- making jello together!
Declan: When I was young, I loved to go to the Chesapeake Bay for one reason: to see my grandmother Jane, or as I like to say, Mema. She is always fun to be around and will always have some nice activity planned. I remember when I was in fourth grade in a new school; they had a grandparent's day. She was one of the best grandparents there. She did crafts with us and played foursquare with us. That was one of the highlights of the year for me. As you can see, she is a great grandparent and fun-maker!

I am thankful for Mema because she helps us out with a lot of stuff. I am also grateful for Mema because she lets us do nice trips to the Bay (and teaches us about it). Another reason I am grateful for is because she comes to our school on Christmas.

Mema is a good person and I am thankful for her because she always does nice projects with us. I loved when she taught me how to make jello. I like her because she is always cheering up hearts.
From McKenzie Watt (5th grade):

I want to be an author when I grow up. Kimberly Brubaker Bradly wrote two books called The War That Saved My Life and The War that I Finally Won. I could not put these books down! They were incredible! I think Ms. Brubaker has a real talent for storytelling, and also her characters teach about the importance of being a strong woman -- no matter your circumstances. The main character in these stories is named Ada Smith. She has a disability, but she learned how to ride a horse, and she even caught a German spy.

When I think I can't do something because I am not big enough, or old enough, or smart enough, or not good enough in math, I think about Ms. Brubaker's characters, and it reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to! After reading these books, I set big goals for myself because I know that I can be and do anything! #girlpower #girlsrule
Another Chance to Vote!

For the fun of it, please vote for your favorite children's book that celebrates a winter holiday or tradition. Why is it special to you?

Results of our totally unscientific "election" will be published in the December RAP. Vote here!
Also, please check out our new resource page featuring links to holiday books! It's full of fun ideas! That's on our website here!
Though our official 2020 Appeal has ended, your contributions are always needed. Here are the deets on how to give.

**Contribute online by Paypal or credit card at:

**Send a check to our mailbox:
P. O. Box 7012
Arlington, VA 22207-0012
Your dollars are helping children especially during the pandemic when access to books has been severely curtailed for so many. See recent pics by clicking here!!!
$3.00 = one book = one child!!!
How about a donation to RIF of NOVA on December 1! It's #GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement, intended to "unleash the power of people and communities to transform communities and the world!" Mark your calendars for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and give a little to help children right here in Northern Virginia with the gift of books and reading!
To contribute books during the pandemic:

Donate GENTLY used books (as like-new as possible!). Contact us at, and we will arrange to pick them up. So far, we have collected over 1,100 books, and they will all find new homes in the RIF of NOVA community!

Four year-old Rosemary Gratien was a little helper to her mom, Kathy Ellen Davis, as they gathered up some gently used books to donate to RIF of NOVA. Peeking out in this photo, Rosemary loves books -- which is no surprise since her mom is a children's book author. Her book, Ta-Da! tells about a day in the lives of two imaginative children. In 2018, Kirkus Reviews said about the book, "The only thing better about this full day of play is having one in real life." Thank you to all who are donating books!
Other options to help:

*Register with Type in Reading is Fundamental of Northern Virginia, Inc. to select us as the charity you want to support. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to RIF of NOVA. With all our current online ordering and the holidays approaching, the 0.5% can really add up!
*Set up a fundraiser for a birthday or anniversary on Facebook and solicit donations for RIF of NOVA. Ask us how by sending an email here!

*If your workplace holds a United Way campaign, designate RIF of NOVA as your chosen philanthropy. Our United Way # is 8959. Our CFC # is 18818.

Thank you for any donation -- no matter how big or small!
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