In August 2018, the world lost a beautiful and brilliant soul, Dr. Hindi Krinsky. Hindi, a 32-year-old English teacher, passed away suddenly from a complication of Crohn’s Disease, leaving behind her five incredible children (Eliana, Ezra, Hudi, Dorit, Abie) and adoring husband Dovid Kanarfogel.
A few months after her passing, Dovid teamed up with Hindi’s former colleague, Leslie Gang, to create what is known today as Hindi’s Libraries. While the initiative began as a small school project to commemorate Hindi’s legacy with a Little Free Library box on the campus of the school where Hindi taught and the children attended, the two found themselves receiving continuous book donations at an overwhelmingly fast pace. By the year’s end, Dovid and Leslie formed Hindi’s Libraries, an international nonprofit organization that collects new and gently used books and donates them to children across the globe at no cost to the recipients. The organization absorbs all costs including shipping costs and supplies.
Since its inception, Hindi’s Libraries has donated more than 700 boxes of books to organizations spanning across all 50 states, India, Africa, Puerto Rico, and Israel. Recipients include medical centers, pediatric offices and clinics, schools, homeless shelters, foster care agencies, Little Free Library Stewards, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations that serve families and children in need.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hindi’s Libraries paused its book shipments and instead focused on the needs of the community. Many parents found themselves at home with their children while sheltering in place, without any books to read. Leslie hosted several “Book it Forward” events, where parents and educators could “shop around” Leslie’s garage and driveway for free gently used children’s books. Hindi’s Libraries donated more than 3,000 books through this effort.
In late May, Hindi’s Libraries resumed its book donations by partnering with local nonprofits including Birthday Wishes, Gammy’s Pantry, and the food distribution at the MLK Center in Long Beach, NY, to provide books to families throughout Long Island and Queens. Later in the summer, Hindi’s Libraries resumed its out-of-state shipments and has sent more than 50 boxes to nonprofits operating during the pandemic.
With the help of local volunteers who reviewed, sorted, and labeled book donations, more than 10,000 books have been donated since April of 2020.
This July, Leslie and Dovid set for a new challenge for Hindi’s Libraries: to reach a total of 100,000 children’s books collected. Over the last two years, the organization has received thousands of book donations from community book drives, children’s authors, as well as corporate partners including Disney Publishing Worldwide and Barnes & Noble. On August 24, 2020, Eddie Cuello, founder of Books for Veterans, dropped off book #100,000 among hundreds of book donations.
Eddie Cuello hails from East Meadow Long Island. He is a Marine Corps War Veteran who served as a SGT/Marine Sniper with one tour in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. Eddie and his wife Marcia started “Books For Veterans” earlier in 2020, a nonprofit that supports our nation’s Military Personnel and Veterans. Books For Veterans is a local book donation/recycling service that repurposes gently used books and puts them in the hands of active duty military serving overseas. Books For Veterans also partners with local veterans organizations, hospitals, and nursing homes where veterans work and are cared for, to provide them with free books.
“I started Books For Veterans because our military needs books. I can tell you firsthand how great it is to have a new book while serving in a combat zone. We get very little free time while we are protecting America’s freedom overseas. Sometimes you just want to escape, and a book is the perfect vehicle for that. A book can bring one of our heroes so much joy and happiness even for a short while, and the feeling we get from providing them with that escape is priceless!”
“Although we mainly donate and receive books for adults, we do receive quite a few children’s books that we weren’t able to donate. We collaborated with an amazing organization called Hindi’s Libraries which specializes in spreading literacy via children’s books. We make monthly donations of children’s books to them and they spread the joy of reading to families in need. We are so delighted to have collaborated with them which ensures the proper repurposing of all books that come across our path!” For more information about Books for Veterans, please visit BooksForVeterans.com.
Leslie and Dovid are constantly collaborating with nonprofit organizations, schools, and vendors to help give the gift of literacy and get books into the hands of children who need them most.
Currently, the Hindi’s Libraries team is quite small and the cofounders are eagerly searching for volunteers to help package book donations. If you are not local, but would like to make a contribution to help fund our book shipments, please visit HindisLibraries.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you at 150,000 books!