Do Good with Goodreads This Holiday Season

Posted by Elizabeth on December 19, 2012

As the year winds down and you make it through the fantastic crush of present buying, traffic, and parties, there's finally a chance to steal a minute and quietly think about the past 12 months: What have you done with your year? How many books have you read? Which stories captured your imagination? But perhaps now is the most important moment to take a deep breath and think about what you're thankful for.

One of our core goals at Goodreads is to make a positive difference in the world, whether it's by connecting someone with a great book that helps them decide what they want to be when they grow up (even if you are 80!), or helping a kid in a disadvantaged country have access to school supplies and reading material. Small or vast, global or local, we feel that even a small step in the right direction will have an invisible—but important—ripple effect. It's not the results that matter so much, just getting out there and helping build momentum for a better global community.

Every month we feature a different organization in our newsletter that's helping to change lives through reading. If you are reader, a lover of the written word, or simply want a tangible way to give someone a nice memory this holiday season, here's an opportunity to revisit the nonprofits that we highlighted in 2012 and see if you would like to make a donation. It's not too late to make reading part of someone's life! Happy Holidays, everyone!


You helped foment World Book Night 2012, in which thousands of volunteers got together to give away books and encourage reading in your community.

A tutor-student pair working on Reading Partners curriculum in Oakland, CA.


Focusing on children from low-income communities, Reading Partners funnels struggling readers into free tutoring programs that offer one-on-one instruction.

Students in Lesotho enjoy their books from the African Library Project.


With just 1,000 gently used books, $500 for shipping costs, and help from African Library Project, anyone can start a library in rural Africa, where many children grow up without books. The African Library Project profile in our newsletter was so successful, they wrote the people of Goodreads a personal thank you note!

A pediatrician uses a new book to assess developmental milestones during a checkup.


Reach Out and Read hooks families on reading in an unexpected place: the doctor's office. Pediatricians help educate parents on the developmental importance of reading aloud.

Take the pledge and get a free download of the full-length track produced by the Roots with Chris Martin, John Legend, Regina Spektor, Jack Black, and more!


We helped raise awareness for children's literacy with the Book People Unite campaign led by Reading Is Fundamental.

A community in Nigeria receives a shipment of books.


The International Book Project sends 200,000 books annually to developing nations in South America, Asia, and Africa as well as underserved schools and libraries in the United States.

Fifteen-year-old Colleen Hamilton is one of six finalists who represented the San Francisco Bay Area at Brave New Voices. (Credit: Ashleigh Reddy)


Youth Speaks offers teens educational programs focused on spoken word poetry, including the annual Brave New Voices competition.


Worldreader donates e-readers and e-books to students across sub-Saharan Africa and helps spread the digital reading revolution to classrooms in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda!

Conservationists at the Bodleian Library.


For as little as £20 (just under $32), you can help digitize a page of the Bodleian Library's edition of William Shakespeare's First Folio with Sprint for Shakespeare.

Children, teachers, and founder James Owens at the grand opening ceremony of WIJABA's Riz Khan library in Sidoarjo, Indonesia.


The World Is Just a Book Away builds libraries and school programs in areas of Indonesia that sustained tsunami and earthquake damage.

Young writers read from their NaNoWriMo novels in Berkeley, California.


National Novel Writing Month's Young Writers Program helps young participants in the initiative by giving them access to online tools, advice from best-selling authors, and more.

A classroom in Balia Village, West Bengal.
Taking its name from the Hindi word for "hope," Asha for Education creates opportunities for underprivileged children in India through a variety of educational programs.


From military bases abroad to ships at sea, parents in the armed services can read to their children with a little help from United Through Reading, which sends videos home.

Comments Showing 1-50 of 63 (63 new)

message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan Kirschbaum Great stuff! More world book nights please! Our there ways authors like myself can get involved in reading to kids?

message 2: by Tracy (last edited Dec 19, 2012 11:44AM) (new)

Tracy This is so, so nice!!! It makes think... I wonder if the families of Sandy Hook could use a drive where people donate books about loss, grieving and coping for families to read with their children.... Maybe it could be one of your beneficiaries for January???

message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan Kirschbaum I'd be up for a book drive for Sandy Hook!

message 4: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth If anyone knows of an organization that is planning something we will definitely take a look!

message 5: by Abhishek (new)

Abhishek Kumar I too want to open libraries when i start earning :)

message 6: by Murtoda (new)

Murtoda donate books about loss, grieving and coping for families to read with their sohbet

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