5,000 books for 5,000 smiles

Andrew Herinckx

Imagine a child with a serious medical condition. Imagine that child and his family waiting for surgery. Preparing to undergo a medical procedure. Passing the time during recovery. Now imagine that child and family reading. Calming their minds. Trading their current reality for something magical. This is the power of a book.

Hi, my name is Andrew Herinckx, and I am a Boy Scout with Troop 618 in Beaverton, Ore. As part of a service project to earn my Eagle Scout rank, I worked to collect books to help children and families pass the time while in the hospital, or while recovering from a health crisis. My goal was to collect 5,000 books.

Boy Scout Troop 618, Beaverton, Ore., collects 4,000 books for Doernbecher.

My book drive included developing a theme – “5,000 Books for 5,000 Smiles” – posters and fliers to promote the book drive. I conducted the book drive in November at two local churches, a school and by doing neighborhood canvasing of more than 3,000 homes in the Beaverton area. I organized more than 60 volunteers to help over three weekends to leaflet neighborhoods, collect books and deliver them to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.

Boy Scout Troop 618 at OHSU Doernbecher.

In the end, we collected more than 12,000 children’s, youth and adult books.

Approximately 4,000 of the books were not usable/appropriate, but that left more than 8,000 that were in good condition to donate to the beneficiary organizations. I estimate that roughly 4,000 were given to OHSU Doernbecher and 4,000 to the Ronald McDonald House. Both organizations were thrilled to receive the book donations and were grateful for how the service project would help many families.

I appreciate the community support and am grateful to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for allowing me to conduct this service project to help earn my Eagle Scout rank.

Andrew Herinckx
Troop 618
Beaverton, Ore.

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About the Author

Tamara Hargens-Bradley is Associate Director of Media Relations for Oregon Health & Science University, OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital. She is the editor of the Healthy Families blog.
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