My husband is the CEO of ArchCare, the healthcare ministry of the Archdiocese of New York. They operate nursing homes, hospitals and provide home care and day care for the frail and elderly. During Hurricane Sandy, they took in 59 refugees from an adult home in the Rockaways. Their home was severely damaged.
These people were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs and maybe a garbage bag of personal belongings. They are some of the kindest, sweetest people I have met, always looking out for each other, taking care of each other.
We took some of them to a luncheon on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx last month, and I noticed one of the women had a book on the table in front of her, a Margaret Truman mystery. I asked her if she enjoyed the book and if she had read any other Truman books. I told her that I could buy her some more Margaret Truman books at the local used bookstore in my local library. She was thrilled.
I asked other residents if they liked to read, and they came alive. One man likes James Ellroy crime novels, another woman enjoys books about travel and explorers. I had the pleasure of sitting next to a former children's librarian and we chatted up a storm about books. She is a big Maurice Sendak fan.
When we visited my husband's family in Kingston, NY, I stopped in Ollie's Bargain Outlet and loaded up on books. If you have an Ollie's near you, GO THERE. It's like a Big Lots, and this one had a huge book section, bigger than most bookstores, and they had tons of books for $2 and up. We're starting a library for these people!
Today I stopped at Webster Library Book Cellar used bookstore and picked up all these books for just $30. I found Ellroy, Truman, some travel books and others books I think they may like.
Some of the residents are blind (including my librarian friend), so I told them we could get them audiobooks. This where I am looking for help. If anyone out there has a good resource for audiobooks (they would have to be CDs) I would appreciate if you could point me in the right direction. Do you know of any websites or stores that carry discounted audiobooks? Any contacts that you have would be so wonderful. I'm also looking for some children's books for my librarian.
So many people have been so generous, donating money to help care for these displaced people, and The Gap donated winter coats, hats and gloves to them. As I love books, I think this is a great way to bring them some joy as well as myself.
Thanks in advance for anything you can do, I'll keep you updated!