One of the local kids from my hometown of Manhattan Beach, named Mollie, started something very inspiring I wanted to share with the Project Inspired community. I thought after hearing about this story that you might be motivated to help others in your life or city, or it may just brighten your day.
Mollie Simms is an 11-year-old going into the sixth grade this year. In 2013, when she was just nine years old, for one of her birthday wishes she wanted to help read to the kids at the local children’s hospital. After she and her mother did some research, she found out that you need to be at least 16 years old to volunteer at the hospital with the children.
Being someone who really wanted to help, she wanted to find another way to bless the kids. One of Mollie’s family members is on the board of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and gave Mollie some ideas of what she could do. She then decided to become a Junior Ambassador for the Children’s Hospital to help raise money, and was inspired to work with an organization at the hospital called the Literally Healing Program, which helps bring brand-new, unopened books to the children.
Mollie and her mother got involved with their school, American Martyrs, and their local church, and decided to contribute with the outside annual book drive that is aligned with their sister school. They raised some money for books and were able to donate a fair amount, but because it was combined with the sister school, they decided they wanted to do a separate book drive just for the Children’s Hospital so they could really focus on the cause.
In 2014, Mollie and her mother donated about 86 books to the hospital, and this year, they raised enough funds to send more than 600 brand-new, unused books to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles! Mollie’s family member on the board of the hospital was so proud of her willingness to do this, and to take the time to help other children her age, that she decided to double whatever contributions were made. So this year at the annual book drive—which Mollie initiated at 11 years of age, with the help of her mom and students from her school and city—more than 600 books were donated!
Wow! I am so touched and inspired to hear this. We really don’t realize the amount of change that ONE person can make.
Do you realize how many children will be blessed to read these books? Do you realize how important it is for a hospital to have brand-new books? Books and the paper within books are very porous, and can contain many germs. Having unused and unopened books is a luxury and it is a bonus when they are brand new, but the need for health is even more important.
Below is an interview I had with Mollie about why she started the annual book drive and how she got started becoming a world changer beginning at just nine years old.
Christi Given: When did you come up with the idea to give or to donate books for kids at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles?
Mollie Simms: When I became a Junior Ambassador, I wanted to help kids in need, but it was hard to go to some of the events at the hospital. I wanted to do my own event where I could help in my community.
CG: Can you tell our readers what a Junior Ambassador is?
MS: A Junior Ambassador is someone who basically raises money for the hospital.
CG: Why and how did you come up with the book drive?
MS: I heard about the Literally Healing Program and the library where they donate books. They were looking for people to bring in unused books for the hospital and they wanted support to help collect the books. I got the idea to start it at my school in 2013, when I was nine years old. We partnered with Pages bookstore in downtown Manhattan Beach.
CG: So, you and your mom started the book drive at American Martyrs in 2013 when you were just in the third grade? What grade are you in now?
MS: I am now in the fifth grade, going into sixth. I’m now 11 years old, and we have been doing the book drive really since last year. I got the idea when I was nine, but we started it at my school officially last year, in 2014.
CG: How many books have you collected annually for the book drive and how much are they?
MS: We gave away 600 brand-new books this year to the hospital, and people could buy the book for $5.00 (from Pages bookstore in downtown Manhattan Beach). There was a list of books from the hospital that they needed for different ages that you could pick from and donate.
CG: Wow, so amazing! Thank you, Mollie, for your time! What an inspiring young lady you are! We appreciate you sharing your story.
MS: You’re welcome. You can go to chla.org to find out ways to give and help the kids at the hospital.
Wow! PI Girls, are you motivated and inspired to change the world and to help others in need? Comment below on your favorite organizations, charities or nonprofits you partner with.
Want to help or contribute to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles? Go to chla.org to find various ways to give or to help out.