Assemblywoman Jenne: Thousands of Books Collected in Annual Addie's Books for Children Annual Holiday Book Drive

December 20, 2017

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Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne congratulates Brody Baldwin, 10, a student at Madrid-Waddington Central School, for the leadership role he played in collecting over 1,000 books at his school for this year's Addie's Books for Children holiday book drive. He was assisted in his effort by fellow Cub Scout Pack 38 Webelos scout Connor Laforce.

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, says residents of St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties came through in a big way to make sure children have an opportunity to enjoy the gift of reading this holiday season.

"I was in Canton on Monday to help unload books collected in St. Lawrence County and in Watertown on Wednesday doing the same for books collected in Jefferson County. It's always exciting to see boxes and boxes filled with books that you know will bring smiles to faces around the region," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

She said the thousands of books collected in this year's Addie's Books for Children Drive was yet another reflection of the willingness of North Country residents to step up and help people in need.

"We had so many great partners helping us this year. Kinney Drugs has worked with us for the past several years. Our drive definitely benefitted from the hard work of Cub Scout Pack 38 Webelos Brody Baldwin and Connor Laforce and the staff and students at Madrid-Waddington who added over 1,000 books this year. Our St. Lawrence County effort was aided by a collection box at the Canton Free Library and a donation from the St. Lawrence NYSARC program. We are also grateful for the donation from the Carthage Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Jefferson County," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

She noted the donations from Kinney Drugs customers were very strong again this year, and the 1,080 books from Brody will truly make Christmas morning that much more special for many families.

The assemblywoman noted she was pleased to have an opportunity to express her gratitude to Brody, who led the effort at Madrid-Waddington with the assistance of his fellow Webelos.

Brody said his effort to help collect books for the drive will help him earn a Recycling Badge, one of the Cub Scouts’ Building Better Communities activities.

The wide range of activities in this adventure is aimed at helping cub scouts become strong, active citizens in their communities, their nation, and the world at large.

One of those activities calls for a cub scout -– with the assistance of a parent or den leader -– to participate in an event that will help lead others in recycling and conserving resources.

"This is a recycling project at its core, and Brody has also helped so many other children in our communities. Brody and I talked about the need in our community, and he knew of a family that is going through some tough times right now," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"I also had a chance to talk to Brody about how important efforts like he made are to our community. He has learned valuable skills about how to take on a big project and manage the details. He and Connor have done good work for the holidays, preparing themselves to be leaders in our community," she added.

Assemblywoman Jenne said Brody and Connor also had an opportunity to meet Dan Maguire, store manager at Kinney Drugs in Canton and a former scout and scout leader, and their discussion centered on important life lessons learned from scouting activities.

Melinda Gault, executive director of the Community Action Planning Council, in Watertown, said the books collected in Jefferson County are split between Community Action, Salvation Army and Urban Mission.

"The books are split between our three agencies. We keep some of the books, a third goes to the Salvation Army and the other third goes to Urban Mission. We work very, very well together," she said.

She said the books had already been sent to the two other organizations by late Wednesday morning.

"It's a great program, and we enjoy working with Assemblywoman Jenne on this effort. It's a nice addition to the toys children will receive and gives parents an opportunity to read to their children," Ms. Gault said.

She noted the book drive resonates in the community.

"People are so generous. Donations appear to come in groups from different organizations. We saw a lot of the same new books were purchased this year. I think people feel good about donating to this cause," Ms. Gault added.

Norma Cary, executive director of the St. Lawrence Community Development Program (CDP), said the books collected Monday will be distributed through the Head Start and neighborhood center programs around the county.

"We certainly understand the importance of reading. This will provide an opportunity for kids to have books to read and parents to have books to read to their children," she said.

"There still remains a lot of need. We have a lot of families in tough situations, families where parents are under employed. Our working poor are struggling to pay their bills and often don't have the money for Christmas gifts or books," Ms. Cary pointed out.

Assemblywoman Jenne said CDP staff sort the books and push the books out so they are distributed in an age-appropriate manner.

"They know the children that will receive some of the books, and Neighborhood Center staff were selecting books the children they serve would like," she noted.

"Even though it seems like a mass of books and hard to manage, the staff and volunteers work to ensure children have a joyous Christmas. They know what the kids are looking for. It’s like shopping at the bookstore for kids they see fairly often. There are so many titles and the books are in great shape," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

The donations from Kinney Drugs customers were very strong, and the books from Brody, Connor and the Cub Scout Pack 38 Webelos along with staff and students at Madrid-Waddington, the Canton Free Library, the St. Lawrence NYSARC and the Carthage VFW will truly make Christmas morning that much more special.

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Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, Community Action Planning Council Executive Director Melinda Gault and Kinney Drugs store managers Wendy Rambone and Brian Wekar pose for a photograph with some of the books collected in Jefferson County for this year's Addie's Books for Children holiday book drive.

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Connor Laforce (foreground) and Brody Baldwin carry books collected for this year's Addie's Books for Children holiday book drive into the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program headquarters in Canton. The books will be distributed to needy families around the region.

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Connor Laforce (back to camera) and Brody Baldwin (foreground) unload their vehicle and carry books collected for this year's Addie's Books for Children holiday book drive into the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program headquarters in Canton. The books will be distributed to needy families around the region.

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Brody Baldwin (far right) presented Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne a bag of caramel corn for allowing him to take part in this year's Addie's Books for Children holiday book drive. The book drive effort will help Brody and fellow Cub Scout Pack 38 Webelos scout Connor Laforce earn their Recycling badge, one of the Cub Scout's Building Better Communities activities. Pictured are (l-r): Brody's mom, Chris; Connor; Assemblywoman Jenne and Brody.

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Norma Cary (left), executive director of the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program, and Angela Ferrick, incoming director of the Gouverneur Neighborhood Center, unload and sort through books collected in St. Lawrence County during this year's Addie's Books for Children holiday book drive. The books will be sorted by age and distributed through Head Start programs and neighborhood centers around the county.

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Kinney Drugs again partnered with Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne for this year's Addie's Books for Children holiday book drive. Dan Maguire, manager of the Kinney Drugs store in Canton, is shown with Webelos Brody Baldwin (l) and Connor Laforce (r). Mr. Maguire told the boys he had been very active in scouting during his youth.

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Hundreds and Hundreds of books were collected during this year's Addie's Books for Children holiday book drive in St. Lawrence County. The books were delivered to the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program earlier this week and will be distributed to needy families around the region. After unloading the books for sorting at the CDP headquarters, there was time for a photograph. Pictured are (l-): Chris Baldwin, Cub Scout Pack 38, Waddington; Dan Maguire, Canton store manager, Kinney Drugs; Peggy Cronk, outgoing director of the Gouverneur Neighborhood Center; Angela Ferrick, incoming director of the Gouverneur Neighborhood Center; Norma Cary, executive director of the St. Lawrence County Community Development Program; Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne; and Webelos Brody Baldwin and Connor Laforce.