In 2010, Sarah Dewitz of Orlando, FL founded Just 1 Book at the age of 10. After reading an article about a local community, Bithlo FL, going through hard times she thought that if they did not have money to pay utility bills, then they would not have enough money to buy books for their children.
Dewitz, an avid reader, could not imagine not having books to read. Thus, she wrote a proposal and presented it to her school principal. She proposed the school hold a book drive and collect a gently used book from each of the student’s home library, which would allow them to donate 763 books to the Bithlo community center. By the end of the drive, they had collected 15,000 books.
Additionally, Dewitz’s family arranged to have Lowes build bookshelves and Sherman Williams donate paint. After painting the bookshelves, Dewitz and her family set up a reading room in the community center where children can take home as many books as they like.
Orange County donated a bookmobile and now Dewitz and her family, with the help of Florida Kiwanis, arrange book drives in schools and book distributions throughout Florida.
Over the past three years, Just 1 Book has collected and distributed over 150,000 books in central Florida. Dewitz’s goal is to help organize children through Just 1 Book to collect and distribute books in their own communities all over the US.