Sisseton woman makes big donation to book drive

Local News

Thanks to your generosity, our KELOLAND Book Drive for REACH Literacy was a huge success.  Each of your donations is a valued contribution to REACH’s efforts to provide reading skills to adult learners. 

Monday we collected more than 37,000 books. 

KELOLAND’s Perry Groten spoke to one donor from Sisseton whose contribution couldn’t quite fit into a single box.

Candy Anderson turned a rented U-Haul into her personal bookmobile.  She drove all the way from Aberdeen to Sioux Falls to deliver the trailer full of books to REACH Literacy.

“I cried all the way down here.  I’m just very happy for this program and Crystal would be very happy, too,”  Candy Anderson said.

Crystal is Anderson’s longtime friend Crystal Venegas, who died of cancer earlier this month.   Venegas left her collection of books, mostly mysteries and other novels, to Anderson.  All 23,422 of them.

“I said Crystal, you can’t leave me with these books and she looked at me and grinned,” Anderson said.

At first, Anderson didn’t know what to do with all the books.  Then she found out about our book drive and decided that the REACH bookstore would be the best place for them.

“I think it’s super-generous that somebody who took a sadness that their friend passed away but knew enough that somebody else might want to read these books, and we can help sort those out and give them to the community,” REACH Executive Director Paige Carda said.

Venegas even kept a record of every single book she owned.  It’s alphabetized by author.  This notebook is some pretty heavy reading all its own.

“She had to take her whole portfolio wherever she went to make sure she didn’t buy a duplicate,” Anderson said.

Anderson says by donated the books, she’s helping spread Venegas’ passion for reading, book by book, by the thousands.

“Crystal is smiling down at us now,” Anderson said.

Anderson says she’s not much of a reader, herself.  She says her friend Crystal was a big enough reader for the both of them.

Click here to learn more about the literacy programs REACH has to offer.

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