BOOKS FOR TROOPS

Get to Know Books For Troops, Inc.

BOOKS FOR TROOPS, INC,  (BFT) was started in southern Saratoga County, New York, in April 2010 by retired school teacher, Ellen Keegan who wanted to gather books to send to our troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq,  Her idea was to give them a source of escape from the horrors they were seeing each day; to offer them a release from loneliness, boredom, stress, homesickness, and fear; and to show them that they were not forgotten by those at home whom they were sacrificing so much to keep free. 

Books For Troops, Inc. also wanted the books to remind the troops of home and to give them the message of how grateful and proud we are of them.  Our mission has expanded over the years since BFT has been in existence to include 22 VA hospitals across the US; the American Red Cross Wounded Warriors Program, the families of the troops, in particular the children, and most importantly the troops deployed all over the world.

Mission Statement-To Provide "Medicine for the Mind" 

BOOKS FOR TROOPS, INC, was founded to send "care packages for the mind" to the troops on all US military bases throughout the world and 22 VA hospitals within the states by providing a variety of books & other reading material to help ease their fears, loneliness, boredom & stress. It also was formed to allow these special men and women a temporary escape from the horrors that they see and live daily.Books for Troops was also founded to raise awareness at home of the sacrifices, both big and small, that our troops are making daily to protect our way of life and our freedom. Books were also sent to remind the troops of their humanity even in countries where humane treatment is sorely lacking. Finally BFT was founded to remind the troops that they are remembered at home with pride and gratitude; each book telling them that they have been remembered by yet another person at home.

Goals

Books For Troops, Inc.'s goal is to not have books be one of the sacrifices that the troops have to endure.  BFT believes that books help:

  1. alleviate boredom that the troops often mention as the biggest enemy of their off-duty time;
  2. offer a means of escape from the horrors of a soldier’s daily experiences;
  3. bring a sense of home to our soldiers;
  4. make available a quiet time alone away the stress of living so closely with each other.
  5. create a time to forget;
  6. provide a distraction with something less stressful to think about;
  7. remind our soldiers “you are not forgotten” by the people they are protecting.;
  8. provide the same for the injured troops in VA hospitals and facilities across the U.S.;
  9. connect the the deployed and injured with their children through the sharing of children's books.
  10.  offer "Medicine for the Mind" (la ibrary inscription on the library building in Thebes, Greece) where not just the body, but the mind was taken into account.  

                       A MESSAGE TO THE TROOPS AND THEIR FAMILIES

Books for Troops wants to send you books, DVDs, puzzle books, books on Ttape and comics. Hours of entertainment and escape are an e-mail away. Just send your request, what you would like: puzzle books, books, comics, DVDs, Books on Tape or all 5. If you have a favorite kind of book or author, ( e.g. sci/fi, crime/ thriller, Tom Clancy, Piers Anthony) send your preference with your request.If you prefer Sudoku, crosswords, find a word or variety of puzzles, mention which or all. Include your complete mailing address including APO, AE or FPO, AE. Please mention the date your deployment will end so that the items reach you in time. Let us say thank you for all you are sacrificing to protect us by sending you these "reminders that home is not so far away." We do not want books to be one of your sacrifices and we want you to know that we remember you with pride and gratitude. You are in our thoughts and prayers. There is no cost. You are paying the price with your courage and patriotism.  

If any family members or friends would like to have any of the above sent to their deployed friends or family members, please contact us at the same e-mail address ekeegan3@nycap.com and include the mailing address of the person who is deployed.  Books for Troops

 Why Books?

Books For Troops,Inc. was formed to thank the troops for their selfish sacrifices by sending them books. Why were books chosen? Below are many quotes that answers that question.

"Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind." Robert Chamko

"To read is to construct for yourself a refuge from all the miseries of life." W. Someset Maugham

"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." Mason Cooley

"To read is to construct for yourself a refuge from the miseries of life." W. Somerset Maugham

"The greatest gift is a book. It consoles, it disturbs, it excites, it experiences places outside the world around it." Elizabeth Harwick

"Books is a refuge from the vulgarities of the real world." Walter Pater

"Reading makes immigrants of all. It takes us from home, but more importantly it finds home for us everywhere." Joan Rivers

"Reading: Medicine for the MInd." (Inscription over the library in Thebes, Greece

"With books I am able to place my own concerns aside and curl myself in the cocoon of somebody else's imagination." Kate Kerrigan

"Every story is a ride to some place and some time other than here and now." A.A.Patawan

"You're never alone when you are reading a book." Susan Wiggs

 "Books support us in our solitude and keep us from being a burden to ourselves. "Jeremy Folder

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." Marcus Cicero

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most wisest of counselors and the most patient of teachers." Charles William Elit

THAT IS WHY BOOKS FOR THE TROOPS!

                                            2017 - AN INCREDIBLE YEAR

2017 marked our most successful year since Books for Troops was formed in 2010. In 2017 we sent 1100 boxes of books (about 4,400 books) to our deployed military all over the world and our 22 VA hospitals within the states. Think of the hours of escape and entertainment that gave to those so far from home and so close to hostility and hatred. We would like to thank you for making it happen with your generous donations of books in very good condition and most importantly postage money.  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of postage money. Without it all we have are thousands of books sitting in boxes going nowhere. Please keep up your generous postage donations. They can be sent to:

BOOKS FOR TROOPS, INC.,  152 OAK BROOK COMMONS,  CLIFTON PARK, NY 12065 

  All donations are tax deductible. A corporate sponsor would be wonderful or a company willing to do a fundraiser. Please don't let any of these great book donations go to waste. Help us send them to those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and free. Show them we remember them with a donation that tells them you care about their morale and quality of life.  It is a simple way to say thank you that makes a huge difference for their state of mind. God bless our troops. Ellen Keegan and Books for Troops  

 WHY BOOKS?     WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR by Molly Guptill Manning                  

Books For Troops, Inc. could not have asked for a better book than "When Books Went to War"  by Molly Guptill Manning to convince the public that books have a tremendous impact on the morale of troops living in a warzone, recovering in a hospital, or protecting regional stability in several parts of the world.

Her book focuses on the use of books during World War II as the third major weapon that won the war, the other two being the men and their weapons. The government, led by its President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, united the country into a Victory Book Campaign, organized by librarians across the country when the troops began to ask for books to sustain morale and to counteract boredom. Hardcovers were sent to bases training the troops and libraries were created on the bases.  However the hard covers became a logistics problem when the troops went over seas because of their size and weight. The troops, ever mindful of the weight they had to carry, asked for light and small books that would easily fit into their pockets.

 The government commissioned publishing companies to come up with such books that would be durable and no bigger than six and half by four and a half inches. These books were called Armed Services Editions (ASEs for short.) 12,000 carefully chosen titles were printed as ASEs and over the period of the war over 120 million books were sent to our troops both in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Manning sites many of the responses that were received concerning the ASE's and the impact they had on morale.  For many -- both at home and in battle -- they were considered very strong "weapons of the war."  Marshall Spaulding, a major in the Army, said that books "made life worth living for our soldiers and the soldiers who fought with ours" and inspired "that amazing spirit of our American troops."  "Even units weary from battle, dispirited and drained, emerged with renewed vitality after convalescing with books."  He goes on to say, "Even though they were trained to kill, and subjected to indescrible brutalities on the front lines, the presence of books seemed to verify that the members of our army are still human beings."  

Manning mentions that General Eisenhower in planning D-Day insisted that all men involved being given an ASE to help with the waiting time that was anticipated before the attack. Countless similar comments and reactions are recounted from all levels of military, the troops, the government at home, and the public. One of the unintended outcomes of the 120 million books being sent to the troops is that the number exceeded the 100 million books burned by Germany. 

The book is complete with pictures of the troops reading in trenches, tents, of the leaders of the movements at home, including President and Mrs. Roosevelt and -- best of all -- an entire list of all the book titles and authors sent.  "When Books Went To War" is a well researched and well documented concise history of the World War II, of the role of books in both winning the war and of them uniting a country in one goal of helping the troops to survive the war's brutality.  That the government considered books so valuable that they included books as a necessary budgetary expense once more testifies to their value. The real impact of the book, however, comes from reading it in its entirety and seeing the expansion page after page of all topics mentioned above and more.

The troops did have a favorite book that required two printings it was so popular. To find out what it was, you have to buy the book. Molly Guptill Manning will be at the Barnes & Noble in Colonie Center in Albany on March 21st from 1-3. I will be there in line to buy another copy of her book since I want to share it with every book lover I know and could never part with my copy. If you can't make it to the book signing "When Books Went To War" is on sale at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. 

Our Continuing Needs

At this time Books for Troops would like you to hold on to the books you want to donate. We are having a crisis of space and will be using the next few months to correct it, as well as to send out books more frequently. We will still accept puzzle books, DVDs, books on tape and comics. The only drop place will be our office at 668 rte 9, about 200 ft. north of Bella Napoli Bakery in a mini-mall between a pizza place and a Muslim take out. The hours open will be 2:30-4:30 on Monday or Friday. Ring the doorbell in the middle of the door. You could also mail those items to the address given below.

Money to cover postage (mail checks or money orders to Books For Troops, Inc., 152 Oak Brook Commons, Clifton Park, NY 12065). All donated items remain in Latham unless we have the money to send the boxes of items and books. Please make a donation or support our fundraisers. It is a great way to tell the troops thank you. To see how appreciative they are for all we send them, read letters from 

We are also thrilled to announce that several people have responded to our need for mailing books. Thank you so much. 

Because we are trying to have the book collection sites at only our office in Latham, 668 Rte. 9 we hope to eliminate the need for people to collect often very heavy loads of books. Most of our volunteers are seniors.  We also hope to eliminate the donation of huge numbers of books or books that are in very poor condition. 

Book Drives- Many people have offered to do book drives. Right now we have an overflow of books. The only book drives we need right now are for children's books. We need fundraisers to send our books or fundraiser ideas or items. If you are willing to do a fundraiser for us, please contact us at ekeegan3@nycap.rr.com. We have  done fundraisers ourselves, but they too much time away from our real purpose which is to send books.

Bookcases: We are always in need of books cases and find those that are about 70" or so and about 30inches wide with 5 shelves are the most useable for soft-covered books. If you have one that is stable and would like to donate it, please contact us   at ekeegan3@nycap.rr.com.  

 

How You Can Help?

Books For Troops, Inc. is growing everyday!  We need your help!  We now serve, the deployed, injured and recuperating soldiers that are in several of the VA hospitals across the U.S. and their families. 

You can:

  • Donate soft-covered books, puzzle books of any kind, DVD's (may be used but must have plastic cover), CD's,Books on Tape, board games (may be used but must have all the pieces and directions in a box in good condition), playing cards, dice, automatic pencils, markers,( for the puzzle books), small dictionaries, coloring books and crayons. These can be our office on Mon. and Fri. from 2:30-4:30.
  • *We have particular need for Westerns, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Historical fiction, Military Fiction and Military History, as well as History & Biography. These are the only books we would like at this time to be dropped at the office on Mon. or Fridays. Because they are seldom donated we have plenty of shelf room for them
  •  
    Other Things You Can Do:
  • If you have good computer skills and are familiar with using a website and Facebook. volunteer to help on BFT's sites. Contact ekeegan3@nycap.rr.com

Needed

The troops are always in need of things to help them get through the long nights of nightwatch.  Please consider donating:

  • books on card games
  • DVDs or CDs that are recent and in their containers
  • puzzle books of all kinds
  • adult coloring books and colored pencils
  • handheld or small games
  • Skip-Bo, Uno, cards, dice
  • ***letters of encouragement and support
  • children's books (hard or soft covered in excellent condition.
  • books on tape

All of these items are great reminders of home.  You can drop them off at OUR OFFICE on Mon. and Fri between 2:30 and 4:30.