Over the past eight years, Bess the Book Bus has grown with the help of nationwide support. Our success is built by the hard work of organizations and individuals dedicated to helping our children. No specific title has stuck when addressing everyone involved in our success. Sponsors, supporters, or partners never seems to say enough about what these people and organizations mean to us. So we address them for who they are. We call them friends.
Our most recent stop on the 2011 Transitions/VSP Success is in Sight Tour was Greeley, CO. There we would meet our friend Mrs. Margaret Richmond. Having suffered from an aneurysm many years ago, Margaret is unable to drive. That does not stop her from serving her community. She is a true inspiration.
With help from her daughter Martha, she gives children books, toys and hand-sewn blankets. They give more than 500 blankets each year to hospitals, shelters and group homes. One of the closets in their home, a deep walk-in closet lined with rows of shelves, is full of giveaways. And Margaret and Martha keep toys handy in the car, just in case they encounter a child while they are out.
There is a lifetime love of helping others inside Mrs. Margaret. She can remember with misty-eyed clarity the day she met Helen Keller. She also looks up to her father, who was a professor at Southern Methodist University in Texas. Their home was always full of books and Margaret was encouraged to read and ask questions.
Margaret and Martha recall first seeing Bess the Book Bus on The Early Show in 2009. Bess reminded Margaret of her father’s encouragement to become a lifelong reader. She felt compelled to join us in bringing the joy of reading to our kids across the USA. Now it was time to bring those children’s joy to Margaret.
Taking a detour at Kansas, we headed to Colorado to meet our friend. Margaret and Martha joined us at our events at the Greeley Boys and Girls Club and the Casa del Milagro Head Start. Several hundred books from Candlewick Press, Simon&Schuster, Penguin and Townsend Press went out between the two events. It was our first time in Colorado, and we can’t wait to go back. Friends like Martha and Margaret will always have a place on the book bus.
Until next time friends, happy travels through the pages. Drop us a line and let us know what you are reading.