By Alyssa De La O/@alyssadelao24
Young mothers housed at an area non-profit now have over 500 books to choose from thanks to the university’s literature club.
The club donated the books to the Seton Home earlier this month, where a room was set up resembling a book fair so the mothers and their children could peruse the selections.
English senior and Literature Club member Vincent “Vinny” Ramirez took part in the book drive and donated a total of 20 books himself.
“I didn’t think we were going to get that many books,” Ramirez said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Seton Home, located on the South Side of San Antonio, provides young mothers with residential facilities. The organization transitions clients to self-sufficiency addressing situations of teen pregnancy, child abuse and neglect.
Kendra Puente, education coordinator for Seton Home, said the book drive donations encourage mothers to provide literacy to their children and help the mothers learn.
“Thanks to the donation, we are able to provide the books for the mothers,” Puente said. “So as more mothers come in, we are still able to provide them with books.”
At Seton Home, books are set aside for the children, and mothers are actively encouraged to read to them.
Roughly half the donations the club collected came from donation bins placed around campus. Ramirez sorted books by genre and then decorated the boxes with bright colors and fun characters.
“We were only able to sort a third of the books collected because there were that many books,” Ramirez explained.
Literature Club faculty advisor and A&M-San Antonio English professor Jackson Ayres said he plans to make the annual donation a club tradition, because it’s a way to take the club’s energy and interests into the local community.
“Whether we do another book drive or some other initiative related to literacy or cultural appreciation, the Lit Club definitely plans to continue building bridges between Texas A&M University-San Antonio and our area community partners,” he added in an email.
Ayres said the student members of the Literature Club led the effort by building donation bins, promoting the drive, finding potential book donors and collecting books.
“It’s taken a lot of time, work and coordination,” Ayres said. “But, the process has also been exciting and energizing, especially as we saw the bins fill up with books. In the end, the book drive has been a very rewarding experience.”