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Local nonprofit BEGIN WITH BOOKS wins $20K award from Tom's of Maine
12/7/2015 11:21:56 AM

BEGIN WITH BOOKS has been selected as one of 52 winners from across the country in the seventh annual Tom’s of Maine “50 States for Good” community giving program.  The organization will receive $20,000 to fund thousands of monthly book deliveries to babies and toddlers throughout Charleston County. 


BEGIN WITH BOOKS is expanding the focus of literacy in Charleston County, by encouraging parents to read to their babies from day one and by giving them the in-home resources to do so.  BEGIN WITH BOOKS is currently delivering monthly books by mail to over 2,700 local babies and toddlers.  The Tom’s of Maine funding is enough to sponsor 606 children in the early reading program for one year and to deliver 7,272 books to their homes by mail. 


Patty Bennett-Uffelman, program co-director, praised Tom’s of Maine for its community giving.  “The impact of a grant like this on our local program is tremendous; we are going to direct a large portion of the grant toward expansion of services to the City of North Charleston, where 40% of the City’s 8,850 age-eligible children live in poverty.  We want to start putting books in those children’s homes as soon as possible.”


Passionate community members took to their social media pages to share #OneWaytoHelp their communities, amassing nearly 10,000 submissions.  One entrant representing each state and Washington, D.C. was selected to designate a local nonprofit in their area to receive project funding from Tom’s of Maine.


“This year’s nonprofit recipients bring to life an inspiring picture of the care that Americans have for each other and their communities,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom's of Maine. “People often think giving back to their community is time intensive, and we wanted to show there are easy ways to make a difference, like raising awareness for a cause you love and supporting brands that strive to make the world a better place for future generations.”


Tom’s of Maine has given 10% of profits back to the community since 1970 and encourages employees to use 5% (12 days) of paid time off to volunteer every year. For more information, visit


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