Nearly 10,000 books to be distributed by Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

By Brittany Jeffers - Reporter

HOUSTON - On Wednesday, the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation's Young Professionals Group is hosting its fifth annual Tacky Sweater Party at the Children's Museum of Houston, where its members will mix and mingle while packaging 9,600 books into home libraries for underserved preschool-aged children throughout the city of Houston.

In tribute to former President George H.W. Bush, the group will be wearing quirky and colorful socks, a trademark accessory for Bush.

"This week, it's even more important with the passing of President Bush. We want to recognize his mission of service and Barbara Bush's mission of literacy," Victoria Villarreal said.

All of the volunteers had on their holiday sweaters and silly socks, but the mission, they said, was very near and dear to the Bush family. The volunteers spent Tuesday evening packing up books that will go to Houston children.

Julie Finck, President of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, said that the annual event is part of a bigger mission that means a little bit more this week.

“This is all in honor of the Bush family,” said Finck, “They both lived a life of service and were role models to so many of us and we are just working hard to emulate the things they believed in and service to others is one of them.”

Villareal, chair of the Young Professionals Group, said that she hopes that the boxes of books will turn into a lifelong passion.

“We hope that the children find the passion for literacy. When you learn to read, you can do anything,” Villareal said.

Finck said she believes that, when the children turn the pages of the books, the Bushes' legacy will live on.

“Mrs. Bush believed that reading was a lifetime gift and it lasts forever and impacts generations,” Finck said.

The books will be distributed to the children before the holidays.

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