FAIR LAWN, N.J.– Rachel Greenwald of Fair Lawn began collecting books and supplies for troops during "Mitzvah Day" at the Oakland school where she teaches.
That was 10 years ago and Greenwald, a mother of two, continues to give to servicemen and women as a volunteer for Operation Paperback .
"We collected socks, toiletries [and] many books," said Greenwald, a second- and third-grade general studies teacher at Academies at Gerrard Berman Day School . "We also delivered books to Veterans Hospital library in East Orange."
Greenwald posted in the Fair Lawn Moms and Dads Facebook group asking families to donate. She received more than 450 books in return.
"I then got names of families from Operation Paperback, and ages of kids with lists of types of books they'd like," Greenwald said. "We write a letter to go into each box, which gets mailed to places all over the U.S.
"I'm a teacher and know the importance of children having great books to read and to call their own. Almost all families have children's books in their homes and so it's easy to donate them."
Greenwald's teenage daughters sent along books they had since their childhood.
"It was good to know we had somewhere to send them," Greenwald said. "People are also happy to know that they are going to a good home."