Editor’s note: One very important aspect of a free society is charity. Organizations that do good and people who need help rely on the giving of others to sustain themselves. Since we at TOL advocate for a free society, we also advocate for giving, particularly around the holiday season. With that spirit in mind, we are going to spend this week telling you about our favorite charitable organizations to help guide some of your end-of-the-year giving. Check out Brittney’s recommendations! If you’re hankering for more giving, check out the rest of our giving series!

At this time of the year, I like to spend evenings next to a crackling fire with a good book. The Christmas tree will be lit up, and if I’m really, really lucky, the snow will be falling outside.

When I think back on growing up, I can’t imagine how different it would have been without books. Books opened my mind to ideas and worlds beyond my limited perspective in my small North Carolina town. They shaped my world in incredible ways and continue to influence and inspire me.

Because of my experiences, I believe it is very important to give the gift of books to a child who doesn’t have the privileges I enjoyed. Access to books not only promotes literacy to advance the child towards better opportunities, but can expand that child’s world in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Here are two of my favorite programs.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – Since 1996, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has been providing books to children to promote a love of reading, imagining, and dreaming among children of all income levels. Her work has expanded from her home town in Tennessee to reach almost 700,000 children across the US, Canada, and the UK each month!

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The Barnes and Noble Book Drive – This is another great program that gets extra points for convenience. Simply stop by while doing your shopping (or returning)! Each store chooses a recipient organization in their own community. What I love most about this program is the fun of picking out the book to donate. However, if you are in a hurry, the staff member can pick it for you. Either way, it’s an awesome cause!

As Dolly says, “There are children in your community with their own dreams… the seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.” During your busy holiday season, take a moment to provide these children with the opportunity to let their imagination and dreams soar.