Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s angel tree drive gives kids unexpected gifts

Published: Jan. 2, 2021 at 1:04 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Have you ever wondered what to do when you have outgrown your favorite children’s book?

Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice created their angel tree drive to help you donate and give a child a gift they never expected.

Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Simone Marstiller, said, “I go around to visit all of my detention centers and residential programs throughout the year, and I have noticed that we need to build up our libraries.”.

Marstiller shared the idea on Twitter, and it materialized into thousands of books being donated across the state.

“We are collecting books, either new or gently used, that are appropriate for kids in ages seven through 10 and ages 12 through 16,” Marstiller added.

These words on paper mean the world to those in juvenile detention centers across the state.

“I have seen how kids really just love to read. It’s a great way to escape and use your imagination,” said Marstiller.

It’s not just about receiving something new, but learning and growing.

Marstiller explained, “I want the kids in our care, for a child who develops a love of reading, who wants to pursue their education further, it opens an entire world for them.”

A book, or two, under the tree goes a long way to help lift spirits in 2021.

”I know this has been a challenging year for everyone, but for those who are willing to open their hearts and do this for these kids, I am considerably grateful for that,” said Marstiller.

The angel tree drive runs until Jan. 8. You can either drop off your donations at the DJJ, order books online or provide a cash donation, which will go towards purchasing books.

Copyright 2021 WCTV. All rights reserved.