Volunteers collect more than 1,000 books to be distributed to local children

A local group is collecting books to be distributed to children as part of an event by a San Ysidro clinic.
(Copyright of San Ysidro Health Clinic)

A local group has collected more than 1,000 books to be donated to children during an event next month at the San Ysidro Health Clinic.

Last Mile, an organization that started as a way to get personal protective equipment to frontline health care workers, received its first donation of about 100 books from the Friends of the Del Mar Library.

“We’re really thankful for them because they really started us out and helped us raise books for the San Ysidro Health Clinic,” said Raine Zimmerer, a junior at Canyon Crest Academy.

Raine added, “We’re collecting books because as they’re vaccinating children, in hopes to promote literacy, we’re giving out books that people have donated to hopefully each child in each family. Because it’s so near the border, we hope to really help children there.”

Solana Beach Book Brigade donated 800 books and Words Alive, a San Diego nonprofit, donated 300.

The San Ysidro Health Clinic is hosting a Zapatón, which provides shoes and backpacks for local families and vaccinations for COVID-19 and flu, in December. The clinic is a nonprofit founded in 1969 by seven mothers who wanted medical service for their children, according to the clinic’s website. It now serves more than 110,000 people through 50 program sites.

The first chapter of Last Mile was founded in New York City when there was a PPE shortage among health care workers during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to its website. The San Diego chapter distributed 900,000 pieces of PPE to hospitals, clinics, community organizations and others in need.

Raine said a number of book donations have also come from local families throughout Carmel Valley and Del Mar.

“Even though we reached our current goal, I think it’s always good for future book drives if we can keep donating and really promote it,” Raine added.