A local nonprofit, Lilyfield’s EmpowerOKC, has once again teamed up with Representative Jose Cruz to get books in the hands of kids in south Oklahoma City.
The fall book fair will be held at St. Luke’s Asbury United Methodist Church located on Southwest 38th, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Kids are allowed to come in, any age, they don’t have to register or sign up or anything like that. Just come here to the Hope center and pick out books,” said Cruz, House District 89 and one of the organizers of the book fair.
The group had the initial book fair in the spring. Due to its success, they knew they couldn’t wait until next year to host another one.
There are books in English and Spanish. They are all free and fair participants can take as many as they’d like, a concept a lot of the kids are not used to.
“I’m like no, no, no, it’s yours to have, and so she got like the biggest smile and so excited and she was like ‘Oh, OK great!” said Tiffany Ramirez, with Lilyfield.
For Cruz the book fair is very personal. He said growing up, his dad didn’t even have a checking account and they couldn’t afford books at his school’s book fairs.
“Going to the book fair at school was always difficult. We didn’t have a lot of money and so I noticed that the kids here in the community have about the same issues,” said Cruz.
Several businesses held drives to donate books, but many came from people in the community.
“We just put a post on our social media saying that we were doing a book drive for a fall book fair and people just showed up,” said Ramirez.
It’s an exciting event for both the kids and the parents.
“You know the kids are so excited that they can take more than one book home. The parents are excited they can have books for all of the kids,” said Cruz.
They all put in a lot of work for an event that is so important to this community.
“To be able to pick out a book without having to worry if they have enough money to pay for it,” said Cruz.
There is a variety of books for all ages from kindergarten to young adult.