BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn (PIX11) — One Brooklyn grandma’s kindness clearly knows no bounds.
The Bay Ride grandmother who founded Grandma’s Love now has a new venture: collecting books to go into free book vending machines across the city.
“Literacy is very, very important,” Theresa Monforte-Caraballo said. “children lost a lot of time during the pandemic. = But your whole life depends on reading and if you can comprehend what you are reading.”
The books that Monforte-Caraballo has been collecting will go into these free book vending machines starting this week. The first one will be unveiled at New York-Presbyterian Methodist Hospital children’s center in Park Slope on Wednesday.
The $6,000 machine was donated by Turner Construction. The books come from a variety of places.
“Having a book vending machine, having book fairs, just putting books in children’s hands to really install the love of reading … that’s what Grandma’s Love is all about and so am I as a principal and author,” Dr. Lisette Caesar, a board member of Grandma’s Love, told PIX11 News.
Dr. Caesar’s a principal at Mosaic Prep in Harlem and was one of the first to have a book vending machine inside a public school. She is also the author of two children’s books, one about her own struggles with colon cancer.
And now, Dr. Caesar is now working with grandma’s love to get more free book vending machines inside other public schools.
Since Grandma’s Love was founded eight years ago, Monforte-Caraballo estimates her nonprofit has fed and clothed more than 1,000 city children. A PIX11 News story about the initiative inspired one volunteer, Tina Raeder, to sign up.
“I saw the story and I thought ‘I’m retired, I live in Bay Ridge,’” she said. “It started out a few hours a week and now it’s four days a week.”
And why does the founder of Grandma’s Love do it?
“Actually, it’s the smiles on children’s faces, the hugs and the thank you’s. It makes me feel good,” Monforte-Caraballo told PIX11 News. “Just like it is with a lot of other people who participate with us.”
If you would like to donate to Grandma’s Love, you can go to their website to find out how.