One little girl continuing to help Valley kids with her non-profit

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Nearly 80 local high school students showed up Friday to sort through five storage units and categorize almost 40,000 books. (KFSN)

School might be closed for the summer, but 10-year-old Danay Ferguson remains busy these days. Fresno County's youngest business owner is hard at work promoting literacy with her non-profit Reading Heart.

"It makes me feel happy because I'm able to share my passion of reading."

A passion that started three years ago with the help of her parents-- Danay has worked hard to raise awareness for her non-profit's mission by organizing several book drives throughout the year. She has since collected over half a million books.

Nearly 80 local high school students showed up Friday to sort through five storage units and categorize almost 40,000 books that will then be donated to local students.

"When she said she wanted to start a book donation program we thought oh how cute, a little box and a couple of friends donated-- we had a little dolly-- now were over here with forklifts, diesels, and this is unbelievable," said Dwayne Ferguson, Danay's father.

Danay's dream has become big business, both of her parents have since quit their jobs to run Reading Heart full time-- with the help of four dozen volunteers.

"This is not a small business; this is a full functional large corporation. She's got her warehouse program, she's on her tour, she's got her marketing department-- it's pretty big and she's doing very well with it," said Dwayne.

Friday's book drive was a collaboration with Fresno State's Upward Bound-- a summer program that helps high school students prepare for college.

"Donating a book doesn't just stop there, it goes all the way to distributing the book, sorting them, organizing them, how do you know that book is for that kid? That's why we're here too-- these kids really care about making a difference," said Walter Ramirez, Fresno State Upward Bound.

The boxes upon boxes of books that were sorted through on Friday will help Danay reach 170 local schools and hospitals this year and provide a book to tens of thousands of kids who would otherwise not have one.

"I wasn't really expecting it to get this big, I was expecting it to at least get a little big but not really this big."

The next step could be even bigger-- Danay is hoping to take Reading Heart nationwide in the near future.

Related Topics:
societynon-profitfresnoreadingFresnoFresno State
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