(WWBT) - We all have that one treasured book from our childhood. Now, imagine never getting to read that book, which is the reality for scores of children, but there's a new way you can help.
Mark Smith is no stranger to giving back to the community that has supported his Midas shops. He's given away free oil changes and state inspections in exchange for food and blood donations. This Christmas, the mission is children's books.
"I'm a very avid reader. I talk to a lot of people about books, so I thought there's a lot of kids out there that want a few books at Christmas that don't have them. Why don't we give away a few oil changes and get a few books?" Smith says.
A few has turned into a thousand in a matter of a month. Donate four books, get a certificate for a free oil change. If you donate eight books, you'll receive two oil changes. "New, gently used. Two at a time, a bag at a time. It's been a lot of fun. This is what we've gotten in the last 48 hours," he explains. The books are going to Henrico Christmas Mother, the Boys and Girls Club, the Salvation Army and St. Joseph's Villa, which are all places where children are in great need.
"Somewhere out there's the next kid that's got the next big idea. Maybe she's going to read one of these books and come up with it," Smith says.
The results have already exceeded Mark's expectations. He's shocked at the amount of people who refuse the free oil change, who just want their books to get to the hands of the children who need them most.
"It opens up so many worlds, so many ideas, so many what ifs. Get these books in kids' hands. Get the kids curious and get them out exploring and building their own world. Everybody's better for it," he says.
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