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4 Years & 40,000 Books Later

June 23, 2013

This coming September Court’s Kids will celebrate our fourth anniversary. Four years ago we were incorporated in the state of Oregon and began our journey of providing books to special needs and early intervention programs. I just updated our book count and to date we’ve donated 40,912 books!

books for special needs

My little helper sorting books

We have such great partners to thank, River City Books and Schoolhouse Supplies who help provide us with the majority of our books and have made it possible for us to produce the kind of volume we have. Along the way, we have also gained individual supporters in the form of friends and family who send us boxes of much loved books each time they edit their home libraries, thank you! Special thanks to our financial supporters, donors near and far, friends, family, people who believe in us. We are 100% volunteer run and are so blessed and thankful for the helping hands we get for each book sort.

Honestly, when we started out I was going to be pretty happy if we got a few thousand books out into Portland-area schools. But here we are, 40,000 books later, reaching as far as Washington, D.C. While it is a little early to be celebrating, I think it is important to look at not just where we started but why.

Four years ago this coming Wednesday, June 26th we lost Courtney. The last time I was with her  she was passing through Portland on her way back home to Klamath Falls with the kids after visiting our parents in Texas. She was fine, I saw her, hugged her, kissed the kids and went off to work. She left our house a little while later and made it home safely, and all was well. She went to bed that night and never woke up. Suffering a mini-stroke in the night she was gone…For the first 30 years of my life I was a part of this invincible duo, Kiki & Courtney, and then all of a sudden…I wasn’t.

books for special needs

Kiki & Courtney

A few months later, we built Court’s Kids in Courtney’s honor. She was always an advocate of children with special needs and was credits away from her degree in special education. As a working mom of three she was doing amazing. Selfishly I have to say that Court’s Kids has been my therapy. I get the rare opportunity to walk in her shoes, meet people she would have known, do what she would have done, see what she would have seen…and I am thankful.

One of my favorite stories is “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, it always reminds me of Courtney. For those who knew her, it’s no secret that Courtney was a bit of a Wild Thing. She was a fighter, fiercely defending her family, advocating for kids with special needs and never giving up (sometimes to a fault). I want Court’s Kids to embody that spirit, that strength to stand strong in the face of the seemingly insurmountable and let the wild rumpus start.

Sometimes, I think of Courtney as being across the sea, “over a year, in and out of weeks and through a day” where the wild things are…where she is Queen.

Little by little,

Kiki

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Caitlin Collings permalink
    June 25, 2013 7:44 pm

    Kiki,

    This was a very inspiring newsletter. I hope you are doing well. We look forward to continuing our partnership with you.

    Best,

    Caitlin Collings-Domingo

    Community Engagement Manager

    Schoolhouse Supplies
    503.249.9933 x4
    2735 NE 82nd Ave.
    Portland, OR 97220

    http://www.schoolhousesupplies.org

    Celebrate A Month Of A Million Storytimes throughout June with Knowledge Universe, Alpha Broadcasting stations Live 95.5 , 98.7 The Bull , 101.9 KINK and101.1 KXL and Schoolhouse Supplies. Help us collect new and gently used books to any of our event sites or ongoing donation drop-off locations between June 3-June 28. Learn more here !

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