On Monday, December 12, 2022, Didlake donated more than 1,800 books for elementary-age children to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.
Didlake raised $2,333 for the books through donations to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program at its The UPS Store franchises.
The UPS Store, Inc. is the exclusive sponsor of the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, an initiative of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation that’s dedicated to supporting childhood literacy across the U.S. The UPS Stores, which are independently owned and operated, collect donations year-round through customer rounded-up purchases to benefit children in need.
The Toys for Tots Literacy Program then sends a collection of Scholastic books for children in grades K-5+ to the participating stores and the store owners select a local charity supporting children in need to receive the books.
Didlake selected the local Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, which provide a safe and fun alternative to being home alone or on the street.
Over 1,500 youth attend the clubs for activities, to see their friends, and to spend time with positive and encouraging adults. Didlake team members April Chervenka, Business Manager of The UPS Stores; Josh Nichols, Store Manager; and Lakia Graham, Marketing Manager, presented the books to Debbie Colston, Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, during an event held Monday afternoon at the Martin K. Alloy Club of Manassas.
The books will be split between the Manassas club and two other clubs in Prince William County — the General Heiser Club in Dumfries and the Hylton Club in Woodbridge.
“This was a blessing to get all these books for the kids. They are going to need reading to get through high school and college, and the rest of their lives,” said Colston.
Launched in 2008, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program offers the nation’s most economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing them direct access to books and educational resources that enhance their ability to read and to communicate effectively. The UPS Store network has contributed nearly $8 million dollars and distributed more than 44 million books throughout the nation.
Didlake currently owns two The UPS Store franchises – one in Center at Innovation in Manassas and the other on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax. The donations were collected at these two stores as well as at The UPS Store in Woodbridge, which Didlake owned from 2015 until the first of this month.
“It was a great opportunity to talk to kids about being part of a nonprofit, owning a small business and making it full circle to give back to the community,” said Chervenka. “I challenged the kids to not just be good readers, but to take it a step further and become writers. It was exciting to give them those books and insight into becoming an entrepreneur.”
Didlake is a nonprofit rehabilitative services organization headquartered in Manassas. It was founded in 1965 to create opportunities for people with disabilities through services that connect them to employment, education and the community.