This month, United Way of Missoula County donated nearly 1,000 new books to nine local nonprofits serving children. The books, aimed at children 5 and under, are part of Centraide’s work with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
As a local branch of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, United Way of Missoula County ships approximately 3,000 books each month to young children in Missoula and Mineral counties. Each month, a portion of these books are not distributable (families move or are unable to receive their mail), and thanks to a partnership with the local Postmaster General, these books are returned to Centraide.
âWe are very grateful that our postal workers bring us these books,â said Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of United Way. âIn some communities, undeliverable books are thrown away. At Missoula, we work hard to connect the books to the child who should have received them, reaching out to parents and facilitating pickups whenever we can.
Books that cannot be delivered to the intended recipient are donated to local nonprofits serving young children. (Volunteers remove name / address tag first.) United Way staff and volunteers distributed books to these organizations in December: Partnership Health Center, All Nations Health Center, Empower Place at the Missoula Food Bank & Community Center, Meadowlark & ââYWCA Missoula, Mountain Home Montana, Western Montana Clinic (two locations: Community and Providence), University Congregational Church Preschool, Reach Out and Read (operated from Community Medical Center) and CASA de Missoula.
âBeing able to provide books to help the kids this holiday season is amazing for our team,â said Patrick. âOur goal is to help young children learn to love books and reading. “
Imagination Library by Dolly Parton is a book donation program that sends free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, regardless of their family’s income. After its launch in 1995 in Parton’s home state, Tennessee, the program grew rapidly. In 2003, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library sent a million books. United Way of Missoula County has operated Imagination Library for children in Missoula and Mineral counties since 2015, donating nearly 230,000 books to children in the area.
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.