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Wednesday 13 April 2022

Guest Post: Leslie Gang on Changing the Story - Hindi's Libraries

'We're not here for much time. We have to live to our maximum capacity, to give, to understand, to make a real difference…' - Dr. Hindi Krinsky

How many times have we heard: 'it’s who you know' or 'you must have proper connections'?

Often, we are inspired to do good after reading an empowering article, hearing a motivational speaker or watching a moving documentary. 

We feel the urge to make a difference somehow, and then suddenly, we pause. It’s been engrained in our minds that to make a significant impact in the world we need either a) a network of “influencers” or b) ample funding.

The truth is, while those resources may be helpful, they certainly are not the be all and end all. Making an impact is simple and only requires one crucial component: willpower. 

I offer you our story as an example. Hindi’s Libraries is a nonprofit that donates new and gently used children’s books across the globe.  This initiative came to be when David Kanarfogel and I asked our school custodian to build a wooden book box to be placed on the school’s campus as a tribute to David’s late wife Dr. Hindi Krinsky. Hindi, an English teacher at the school and mother of 5, passed away in August of 2018 at the age of 32, from a sudden complication of Crohn’s Disease. We then asked students in the grade of Hindi’s eldest to each bring 1 book to fill the small box.

Shortly after the inaugural ceremony in the late Fall of 2018, David and I received dozens of calls from people in the community who wished to donate their gently used books. Imagine the game of broken telephone, well, we were on the other end of that call. 'I heard you’re taking children’s books! I have 10 boxes, when can you pick them up?'

Very quickly, we realized that a book holds a very unique meaning to its owner. Unlike an old jacket or worn pair of shoes, a gently used children’s book is also a dear memory to its owner. Every page represents a small moment in a parent’s history. Remember when we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear to our baby each night at bedtime? Remember when mom came to school to read Silly Sally to the entire class?

People hold onto their children’s books, even if there are no longer any children in the home, waiting for the right person with whom they want to share these memories. Hindi’s Libraries provides this much needed outlet and allows book donors to feel impactful with something they cherish, without spending a dime.

Within 3 months of installing the box, we received more than 25,000 children’s books to donate. We worked to partner with worthy recipients including homeless shelters, Title I schools, foster care agencies, pediatric clinics and LFL stewards in book deserts.

Today, we’ve donated over 300,000 children’s books to more than 675 groups worldwide

No. We do not have staff.

No. We do not have office space.

No. We do not have full time volunteers.

No. we do not have a benefactor.

You know what we have?


When I read these statistic, I know that we must continue our mission…

·       61% of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.

·       On average, children in economically depressed communities have 0-2 age-appropriate books in their homes

In middle-income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children. 

During the lockdown in 2020, I was inspired to write a children’s book on behalf of the nonprofit. I became very interested in the writing process and wanted to understand the mindset of a children’s author, especially since Hindi’s Libraries works very closely with authors around the globe constantly. All proceeds from this newly released book, But Family is Forever, will be donated directly to the nonprofit.  I am excited to place a copy into every box we ship. I hope that readers will be reminded about the importance of family, no matter what shape, color, gender or size.

Every day brings adventure to Hindi’s Libraries- a new challenge, a new partnership, a new goal.

Hindi’s words say it all. We’re here to make an impact, to do good and to change the story. Every book we receive is essential.  One book means one more child has now become a reader and has been given the tools to feel empowered.

Together, we’re changing the story one book at a time.

To learn how you can help us give the gift of literacy, please visit us at www.hindislibraries.org

Leslie Gang (maiden name Reis) was born and raised in Long Island New York, where she currently resides with her husband Jason and children Alexandra and Simon. She graduated from Boston University in 2007 with a major in Communications (specialization in Public Relations). Leslie has worked in the admissions and marketing field of the nonprofit sector for more than 14 years and is currently the Director of Admissions and Communications at the Brandeis School in Lawrence, NY, where her children attend. Leslie is an avid theatre enthusiast and the co-founder of Hindi’s Libraries, an international literary nonprofit that donates new and gently used children’s books all over the world.

Leslie’s book: But Family Is Forever

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