“Now more than ever, as we power through this pandemic together, access to books is incredibly vital to our children’s education journey.”
Books are Gems, an El Paso nonprofit bookstore that provides free books to children, suffered damages to over eight thousand new books in August of this year, due to flooding caused by a broken water heater. El Paso Electric (EPE) made a commitment to donate $10,000 to the bookstore to help recover from the damages. EPE presented the funds to Books are Gems during one of their book drives.
“We had just purchased new books to give away to children and had the boxes on the floor the night of the flood, so needless to say everything was completely damaged,” Emma Acosta, Books are Gems grant manager, told local television KTSM. “We were unable to accept book donations due to the lack of space, so we had just put a call out for financial donations and were completely elated with EPE’s generous support.”
The funds will go toward purchasing new books and to install more bookshelves. Due to the pandemic, Books are Gems only had enough budget to sustain their services through the end of October but will now be able to extend through the end of the year, thanks to the EPE donation.
“Now more than ever, as we power through this pandemic together, access to books is incredibly vital to our children’s education journey,” said EPE Vice President of Community Engagement Eddie Gutierrez. “Books are Gems has been with the families of our community from the onset of the pandemic, so it was only natural that we help see them through this challenging time as they continue to support literacy for thousands of children.”
The $10,000 donation was made possible by EPE’s Community Partner Program, a long-standing initiative that supports more than 170 nonprofits within the region, donating more than $1.2 million annually.