USM Office Lends a Helping Hand at Maryland Book Bank

A call to community service is a call to action for the University System of Maryland (USM).

When Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr. announced his Maryland Unites outreach initiative, it was important to Chancellor Robert Caret that USM participate and lend its support to an organization with an educational focus.

Chancellor Caret settled on the Maryland Book Bank, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that collects and distributes books to families, teachers, schools, and organizations in need across Maryland.

 “The Book Bank was an obvious choice,” explained Caret. “It tackles one of our state’s most pressing issues – literacy—head on.”

USM Office’s (USMO) Maryland Unites committee, a group tasked with overseeing USM’s involvement in the Maryland Unites campaign, took things from there. The committee organized a month-long book drive during which USMO staff were encouraged to donate new and gently used books to the Book Bank. In total, staff donated 1,324 books.

The committee also organized a service day in which 20 USMO staff members, including Chancellor Caret, volunteered their time to sort and pack books at the Book Bank’s warehouse in downtown Baltimore.

Mark Feiring, the Book Bank’s executive director, expressed his appreciation for the volunteers’ efforts. “Everyone was fantastic. I cannot thank you [the USM Office staff] enough for the incredible work everyone did.”

Caret echoed these sentiments. “I am extremely proud of USM’s contributions to the Book Bank,” he said. “Through our donations and our service, we have helped the Book Bank achieve its mission of cultivating literacy in children from low-income families. And in the process, we have advanced USM’s own mission of improving the quality of life here in Maryland.”

Below are photos of USMO staff who volunteered at the Maryland Book Bank.
For more information about USM's support for the Maryland Book Bank, click here.