Books for Bama

Hello, my name is Jessica Martin, and I am an English teacher; a resident of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and a very close friend of Laura, the author of this blog.

As many of you have heard over the past few days, the state of Alabama was devastated with an outbreak of tornadoes on April 27th. In the Tuscaloosa area, we have lost over 750 homes, apartments, businesses, two elementary schools, and have another one that was heavily damaged. There are countless elementary, middle, and high school students who are now living in shelters and have lost everything. We know that eventually (in fact, within the next week) those children will be returning to school, and they will not have the necessary supplies. In addition to losing their school supplies, these students have also lost their own personal libraries.
That’s why the Belser-Parton Literacy Center is now holding a drive to replace these books and school supplies. Books for Bama is your opportunity to help these devastated children with reclaiming a sense of normalcy in their day-to-day lives.

Our Books for Bama school supply and book drive is being held in three locations in Tuscaloosa, as well as a drop off location in Birmingham, on May 4, from 2-6pm. The locations are The Riverwalk (also known as Manderson Landing) on Jack Warner Parkway in Tuscaloosa, Graves hall (the College of Education) on the University of Alabama Campus, and Holt High School in Holt, AL (also right off of Jack Warner Parkway. We will announce the Birmingham Location as soon as it is available.
We are also partnering with Bess the Book Bus, who will be cooking for the children and their families from the Alberta City and Holt areas, where the tornado has completely wiped out the towns. In addition, Bess the Book Bus will be bringing their partner, Transitions Optical mobile eye clinic, to asses and replace damaged or lost eyeglasses.

I know many of you do not live in the Alabama area, or you may not even live in this country, but this is a global effort. That is why we have set up an Amazon wish list you can order directly from and the books will be delivered to the Literacy Center:


Please note that our immediate need is school supplies (since school is about to start back), but we are accepting books to donate as well because we will be distributing these in the coming days and weeks.

Please take the time to add yourself to our list of attendees on our facebook page to check out our list of needs, to help by volunteering, or to check in on our progress.

I thank you in advance for your support.


A note from Laura:

I would be amazing if some of you would repost this or even a smaller blurb about the drive and links to the wishlist and facebook page. There’s been some major devastation around down here and I hope some of you will help. Thank you so much!

Laura Ashlee

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  1. I posted this on a few of my goodreads groups.

  2. Thanks so much, Jeannette!

  3. I'll be doing some shopping today, too.You and yours came through the storms okay?

  4. Yes. We're all safe and sound. The storms didn't really touch down near us.


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