BookTrust staff were “overwhelmed” by contributions to its Christmas fundraising appeal, which reached £120,000 - a third more than its target.
The festive appeal formed part of the Letterbox project, which sends book parcels out to 9,700 children in care. For many, is the first time they have owned a book. The literacy charity had called on the public to donate £10 through a website to give a child “the gift of escaping” through reading.
The campaign caught the public’s attention immediately and raised £30,000 within a day of officially launching on 28th November. The original target was £97,000 but by 21st December, £120,690 had been raised from 5,622 donors.
BookTrust selected six hardback books to send to children, aged from three to 13, including Three Little Owls (Tate) illustrated by Quentin Blake, Creaturepedia (Wild Eye Editions) by Adrienne Barman and National Geographic’s Weird but True (National Geographic Kids). The books were picked according to the age of the child and each child will receive a specially designed festive poster and postcard by illustrator Adam Stower.
Looked-after children across the UK are enrolled for the Letterbox Club by local authorities and schools. Each child receives a parcel of books, maths games, stationery and other high quality materials once every month for six months, from May to October.
Diana Gerald, BookTrust c.e.o, told The Bookseller: “We’re overwhelmed by the support from the public and thanks to so many generous donations, we have been able to send a festive gift of a book to each of the 9,700 children in our 2017 Letterbox programme.
“We would like to thank everyone who donated and helped to light up a child in care’s Christmas with the gift of a story.”
For more information, visit booktrust.org.uk.