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Organizations join forces for youth literacy
First Book
Friends of the Turlock Public Library Board Member Jackie Oyer’s house was overflowing with books thanks to funds raised in partnership with First Book and dd’s Discounts (Photo contributed).

Since opening in 2015, Turlock’s dd’s Discounts store has made it their mission to support local literacy. For the fourth year in a row, a collaboration between the business, First Book and Friends of the Turlock Public Library will provide a plethora of books for low-income and at-risk children courtesy of community donations.

“I just felt like I needed to thank the community for their generosity,” FTPL Board Member Jackie Oyer said. “I’ve been doing this for close to five years and this was probably the biggest year yet.”

Through monetary donations received at dd’s Discounts throughout the first weeks of August, charity organization First Book was able to provide Oyer, who oversees the fundraiser, with $2,858 worth of credits to purchase books for the city’s youth. Oyer was able to buy 723 books this year, she said — over 200 books more than were able to be purchased last year.

“This year is a sizeable jump from last year. It seems like each year it’s building and building, and that means we can reach more kids,” Oyer said. “The whole purpose of this thing is to get books into the hands of more children.”

During the first fundraiser hosted by dd’s Discounts, FTPL and First Book in 2016, close to $1,500 was raised. Books purchased with money from the youth literacy fundraiser are delivered to Turlock schools, foster placement agencies, women’s shelters, the Salvation Army, the Children’s Crisis Center and Jessica’s House. Originally books were donated only to local schools, but the public’s support has allowed the fundraiser to branch out and help more organizations.

“I think it’s incredible, and part of what makes it incredible is that the people who donated don’t know where these books are going. They’re doing it out of the goodness of their heart, not knowing who's benefiting from their generosity,” Oyer said.

The annual fundraiser puts on display the longtime relationship between dd’s Discounts and FTPL, Oyer added. The business first reached out to her when they were preparing for their grand opening and awarded FTPL with a check for $2,500. Since then, the partnership has ensured children from all economic backgrounds will have access to new books.