''46,016 books, as of today"; Danville woman continues book giveaway mission

Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 5:23 PM EST
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Every story has to start somewhere.

"It all started with Winn Dixie not liking it when I went into the library because he couldn't go inside too," read Jennifer Williams, from her favorite book, "Because of Winn-Dixie."

Jennifer Williams' story starts with stories.

"My mother read to me every day until I went off to college," said Williams.

That's how her love of words began, and for the last year and a half, we've told you a few more chapters of Williams' story. We met up with her the first time when she gave out 25,000 books.

Then last year, during her first visit to Chatham Elementary, she bought every student a brand new book.

And now, the book lady is back.

"Just a reminder, teachers and students, Mrs. Williams, she was here last year, she's here again today, she is giving away books to our students, which is always so wonderful," said Dr. Wanda Cater, the principal of Chatham Elementary, during morning announcements.

Two-hundred-sixty-three students are in grades pre-K to 5. That means 263 books. All different. For a lot of different readers.

Every story has to end somewhere. Jennifer Williams' story isn't ending anytime soon.

"46,016 books as of today," said Williams.

Her goal is to give away one million books, and at each giveaway, it strikes a cord.

"We stop and think about our favorite stories, the stories we grew up, the stories we pass down to our kids, all those things. See you made me cry again!" said Williams.

While she knows these kids - kids that might not have their own books at home - are thankful, it's not about just giving them something new.

It's about changing their future. And Williams believes reading can do that.

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