If you’re in the Boston area and want to donate some of your books (or CDs or DVDs or games), check out More than Words. It’s a nonprofit that empowers at-risk youth by running a business. From the MTW website:
“By working as a team to manage their own retail and online used book business, café, and community space, youth develop the employment skills, leadership, and self-confidence they need to successfully transition to adulthood. In addition to store-based job training, youth are engaged in personal transition planning and case management to support their progress towards employment and education. The MTW model is premised on the belief that when at-risk youth are challenged with authentic and increasing responsibilities in a business setting, and have high expectations and a culture of support, they can and will address their personal barriers, create concrete action plans for their lives, and become thriving members of society.”
I like the idea of helping teens develop a better sense of self and practical skills through something like a used bookstore. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to pass along books you’re not going to read again. The MTW team even picks up books at your home/building on particular days in the Boston area. (My husband and I just donated and it was so convenient.) I think a lot of times, people have books they would give away but aren’t sure where to send them. Libraries may not need another copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, but a program like this might.
I’m sure there are a lot of other programs like this around the country, so if you know of one, please share in the comments.