PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A local non-profit that provides free books to underserved communities had their bookmobile stolen back in July, but thanks to community donations, they are now debuting their new bookmobile, months in the making.
“The funny thing about The Bookmobile Babe is nothing can keep us down,” said Christie Quinn, executive director of The Bookmobile Babe.
The nomadic business continued serving children and delivering free books to communities where there are often no or few bookstores or libraries, despite having their bookmobile stolen back in July with hundreds of books inside. It couldn’t keep them down.
“We were able to fundraise about $10,000 in two months,” said Quinn.
With a motto of ‘go big or go home,’ they decided this one would be bigger and better.
“My board of directors approved it, and then we raised some more money,” said Quinn. “My bank gave me a loan to cover the rest, and now we have a Japanese firetruck for our bookmobile.”
A quirky, red firetruck that the kids couldn’t resist as the organization debuted it Tuesday during the Gateway Holiday Festival at the Nick Fish, handing out free books to kids while also collecting winter coats and socks for those in need, through Y.O.U.T.H.
“Around the holiday season, it’s always nice for, you know, kids who are in areas that might not have access to books to get access, especially before Christmas break,” said Katy Mollerstuen, a board member with The Bookmobile Babe. “Something really positive has happened and we really appreciate the community support.”
While they are continuing to fundraise to pay off the loan necessary to get the new bookmobile sooner rather than later and have plans to install shelves in the back, the non-profit is already thinking of its next venture: opening a bookstore in the Gateway neighborhood.
“Just be on the lookout for us, please, in 2023. We are going to be traveling a lot now that we have this vehicle so people can know where we’re going to be and get some free books,” said Quinn. “I’d also like to add that we have an opportunity to have a bookstore/community center here in the Gateway area, actually right down on the next block. So be on the lookout for that as well. This is an area that has 5,000 students and no bookstores, so we’re very eager to help fill that void if we can.”
Since they were without a steady bookmobile this summer and fall, the non-profit has thousands of books in storage ready to give out, so they are asking anyone who would like them to come to your event or school. Anyone interested can contact them on social media or email@example.com.