New Jersey Teen and Her Family Charity Store Books by the Thousands at Red Bank Self Storage

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A 15-year-old high school sophomore collected 6,000 books during the summer for Bridge of Books Foundation and also delivered a $5,000 check to help the organization store the donations at Red Bank Self Storage in Red Bank, N.J. This week Kyra Citron and a team of volunteers brought 24 large plastic bins filled with books to the self-storage facility. The money was provided through the Charles Lafitte Foundation, Citron’s family charity that supports organizations in the areas of education, children’s advocacy, medical research and the arts. Citron directs the Kid’s Corner.

The Bridge of Books Foundation is a nonprofit group that provides gently used and new books for underprivileged and at-risk children throughout New Jersey. The foundation has given away 50,000 books this year, largely in the form of “comfort bags” delivered to children in emergency shelters in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

In addition to collecting the books, Citron sorted them by age group and removed old volumes, adult material and other books not suitable to readers under 18 years old. “Reading is my passion. I love to share the power of words; it changes who you are,” said Citron, who has worked for her family’s foundation since she was 8. “It’s sad that people don’t have the funds to buy books.”

Bridge of Books rents two units at the self-storage facility. Unsorted books are kept in one unit, and books neatly boxed by age group and categories are stored in the other. The organization typically donates books to schools, community organizations and Head Start centers throughout the state.

Red Bank Self Storage has been family-owned and -operated since its founding in 2001. The company opened a second facility, Atlantic Highlands Self Storage, in Monmouth County in 2010.

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