‘We’re a little less than three years in and we’ve donated more than 225,000 books to organizations that serve children in need.’
“In the summer of 2018, I get an email from a parent at the school where I work. It’s six in the morning and he tells me, ‘I don’t know who else to call. Hindi just died.’ Hindi Krinsky was a parent at the school where I worked. She had five kids: triplets who were 8, a 4-year-old, and a 1-year-old. She was working in the high school as an English teacher and she had just been given the opportunity to be the literacy coordinator for the entire institution.
“Hindi was not by any means ill. She had Crohn’s disease, but was managing it, and yet she passed away from a complication. It was very sudden and unexpected. She was that rock star teacher and we always knew to put her in the spotlight when doing recruitment.
I don’t like to say everything happens for a reason, but it came to me at a time when I needed it most because I was going through a personal crisis, and I just had to get over it and move forward.
“Once school started, one of the principals called me and said, ‘We need to do something for Hindi for her kids.’ This family was known as the bookworms of the school. When her triplets came to kindergarten, people were talking about, ‘Hey, did you meet those 5-year-olds reading Harry Potter?’ So we knew whatever we had to do would be revolving around books. We chose to build a little free library box in the courtyard of the kids’ school and asked parents to donate one children’s book.
“Two weeks later, I got a phone call from the principal, asking, ‘Why are there 500 books in my office right now?’ So we started collecting these children’s books in our garages and distributing them to different places on Long Island. And this just snowballed into what we’ve become now.
“We’re a little less than three years in and we’ve donated more than 225,000 books to organizations that serve children in need. We’re in all 50 states, Africa, Israel, Puerto Rico, Morocco, India. The team is me and Hindi’s husband, David, and a few volunteers. I don’t like to say everything happens for a reason, but it came to me at a time when I needed it most because I was going through a personal crisis, and I just had to get over it and move forward. It kept me going.”
Interviewed by Hannah Fusaro