Christmas in July? Not Quite, But There Was Plenty of
Giving Taking Place on the City’s Eastside in July
Special to The Truth
Books 4 Buddies hosted an event at the LMHA Weiler Homes
complex where residents were treated to books, burgers and
bags of goodies.
With the inviting music of Michael Jackson in the
background, about 100 people ignored the heat and attended
the event which also included vision screenings,
Kindergarten and Head Start registration, arts and crafts,
and a raffle.
Books 4 Buddies, founded by Toure’ McCord II, is an
organization that collects new and gently used books for
disadvantaged youths. It then gives or distributes the
books back into the community. The organization’s President
Laneta Goings estimates the group has donated over 30,000
That tally is sure to head north as youngsters of all ages
were allowed to pick out and keep the books they selected.
For many, these books will become the initial deposit in
their personal libraries.
Dozens of volunteers, from Toledo Public Schools, Toledo
Youth Commission, and the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office,
were on hand to help the children make their selections and
fill their totes with goodies like bookmarks, water bottles
and plastic toys.
Also present, clad in their traditional orange T-shirts,
were the Book Ambassadors. The 25 Ambassadors, a diverse
group from area high schools, promote the mission of Books 4
Buddies and help improve literacy skills among boys. They
also serve as role models and are already young community
This was on full display as the Ambassadors read to the
children who were comfortably seated around them in the
grass. Both readers and listeners refused to let the heat
distract them as they interacted with one another. The
Ambassadors participating in the reading included: Keshawn
Corggens, Ivan Dye, Myles Johnson, Bryant Kobak, Zane
Kruszynski, Scottie Seymour, Aaron Thompson, Jordan
Topoleski, and Oran Williams.
Young Corggens was especially effective as the children fed
off his energy level which seemed to match the heat index.
But the Ambassadors never lose their focus, they’re aware
that this is not about them. As Jordan Topoleski, a
sophomore from Sylvania Southview, said “it’s about the
Other highlights included the picnic lunch, provided by TPS,
the arts and crafts stations and the raffle giveaways handed
out by Robert Mendenhall, TPS Director of Curriculum, and
Captain T.O. Walker, of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.
No surprise that the face painting area proved to be a
popular destination, with many of the faces resembling
animals better suited for the near 90* weather.
The Weiler Homes event in July was followed by a similar one
at Birmingham Terrace on August 7 as the Ambassadors,
Sheriff’s Deputies, TPS representatives and Toledo Youth
Commission repeated the formula for success that brought
together so many volunteers and residents.
Books 4 Buddies has an upcoming event planned for the
Northwest Ohio Rib Off (Aug. 13-16).
Sponsors of the organization include: The Blade, Apex
Micrographics, Inc., Buckeye CableSystem, The Andersons,
CedarCreek.tv, Fifth Third Bank, Franklin Park Mall, HART,
LMHA, Lucas County Sheriff, John Tharp, Toledo Lucas County
Public Library, Toledo Public Schools, and Toledo Youth
For more information on Books 4 Buddies visit