Clifton Park based Books for Troops has been operating out of garages and basements throughout the area, often without air conditioning or heat – until now.
The nonprofit group who sends books to soldiers overseas now has a large storefront right on Route 9 in Latham, essentially changing the entire operation.
Books for Troops moved into their new location in the end of July, making collecting donated books significantly easier and more efficient. Albany Broadcasting donated the storefront, which is located between Bella Napoli Bakery and Duniya Supermarket.
“The new location. . .has made it much easier and more comfortable for our volunteers because it has heat and air conditioning,” Ellen Keegan of Clifton Park told the Times Union; Keegan is a retired school teacher who started the nonprofit in 2010.
Since then, she has been assisted in her efforts by Shenendehowa High School students, local Boy Scout troops, and a group of loyal volunteers. Together, they have shipped more than 400,000 donated books.
Books for Troops gathers donations of used paperbacks in good condition to send to troops overseas. “Reading helps soldiers reduce stress and allows them to use their minds in a peaceful, soothing way,” Keegan told the Times Union.
There are some guidelines for what is and isn’t accepted. Old and yellowing books, or books with covers missing, will not be accepted, nor will hardcovers or romance books. The group does accept comics, puzzle books, and movies on DVD. Additionally, children’s books are welcome, as the soldiers can use them to read to their children at night over Skype.
If you’re interested in donating, note that the new storefront location is not staffed all the time, and can only accept donations when they’re open. Collection boxes can be found at the Clifton Park and Halfmoon town halls; Bella Napoli next door to the storefront also has a collection box outside their side entrance.
Please keep the donation guidelines in mind, as sorting through and recycling unacceptable books is burdensome and time consuming for the organization.
Interested in volunteering your time to help? You’re in luck! Books for Troops is also looking for volunteers as well as book donations.
“We’re excited about our new location and now we need new volunteers with fresh ideas,” Keegan told the Times Union.
Cash is also a welcome donation and is used for shipping costs. Cash donations should not be left with books, but can be sent to: 152 Oak Brook Commons, Clifton Park, NY 12065.
Want more information? Check out booksfortroopscp.webs.com.
- Times Union: Books for Troops moves to Route 9 storefront in Latham