The Gift of Good Books from Good Friends
Three-hundred new books valuing more than $7,500 were donated to the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital for inpatient use by Judith's Reading Room, a nonprofit literacy organization based in Bethlehem, Pa. The books will be housed in the Allentown hospital's recreation therapy room and also be accessible to residents of the Supported Independent Living Apartments on Good Shepherd's south Allentown campus.
Cathy and Scott Leiber, co-founders of Judith's Reading Room, presented the books and a beautiful, bright red mobile library cart. It was their second charitable donation to Good Shepherd, the first being a similar gift to the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit in Bethlehem in February 2010. Cathy is also a member of the Good Shepherd Women's Giving Circle, a group of philanthropic-minded women whose annual membership fees support a Good Shepherd program of the group's choosing.
Working with Good Shepherd's recreation therapists, Erin D'Amelio, a senior at Lafayette College in Easton, personally chose each volume to ensure a broad reader appeal for patients from 18 to 80 years of age. Erin explains how she met with two recreational therapists at Good Shepherd to gain a broader understanding of the patient population. "I tried to select at least one book that would fit the needs and interests of the patients," says Erin. ". So, I looked for inspirational books, humorous ones, visually-appealing titles, and genres from science fiction to mystery to historical fiction. My goal was to make the library as diverse as the patients using the recreational therapy room."
The final collection was obtained through book publishers and from a generous donation by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Gerhard in honor of their daughter, Kristen.
"Giving these patients literature, which will help not only their therapy but help pass the time, corresponds perfectly with our mision at Judith's Reading Room," says Scott Leiber.
Judith's Reading Room promotes "Freedom Through Literature" by providing custom libraries to organizations that serve people who have limited or no access to literature. Good Shepherd's pediatric unit was the first organization to receive a gift. Since then, Judith's Reading Room has donated 32 libraries in five states and four countries. Other grateful recipients include servicemen and women as well as school children in Afghanistan, students in India, Indonesia and Nigeria, and many Lehigh Valley health organizations.
You can strengthen the spirit of this gift with a donation of your own supporting Good Shepherd's mission of charitable care. Thank you!
Pictured: Georgine Edwards (center) a resident of the Supported Independent Living Apartments and a Good Shepherd volunteer, with Judith's Reading Room co-founders Scott and Cathy Leiber.