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Brotherly Love: Bristol-based organization aims to get books in hands of young children

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Bristol-based organization is getting thousands of new books into the hands of children in any way it can.

Eleven-year-old Vanessa Shively is choosing her next adventure.

"I really like adventure and fantasy," Shively said.

Shively is from Durham, North Carolina, but she is staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia as she undergoes treatment for a brain tumor. Books are an escape.

"I kind of just get sucked into it and then don't realize how much time has gone by until I get up from it," Shiveley said.

"Growing up for me, personally, books were really important," Maria Evan said.

Evan is the executive director of Books In Homes USA. It's a national nonprofit whose goal is to get new books into the hands of children.

"When a child actually gets to pick up a book, hold it, read it, they know they've actually personally selected it, that pleasure of reading kicks in," Evan said.

Evan and her team stock the library trees at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House with new, free books. Over the past three years of the partnership, the books have been invaluable for thousands of families coming through, Lawrence Jacobson said.

"It may sound a little bit old school, but I think to myself that books don't need batteries," Jacobson said.

Still, a child that won't pick up a book might get interested in this: a short story dispenser -- also donated by Books In Homes will print out a surprise story or even a comic on a long ribbon of paper.

"It's easily portable," Shively said.

But the primary mission will always be to get physical books into the hands of children of all demographics, particularly in underserved communities. Since it began in 2005, Books In Homes USA has given out 900,000 books to 361,000 recipients nationwide.

"People read on their phones, etcetera, but there's nothing actually replacing taking a book home with you," Evan said.

Books In Homes USA only gives away new books, and it is always looking for volunteers.

For more info on Books In Homes USA, click here.   

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