Resident assistant organizes book donation drive

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Photo: Parker Garlough

A book donation bin in the lobby of 2 Boylston Place.

By Ashlyn Wang, Staff Writer, Photographer

As residents walked into 2 Boylston Place throughout the past week, they passed a cardboard box decorated with orange and pink papers reading “Donate Books Here” and “2B Book Drive.” 

Senior comedic arts major and resident assistant Kat Mondor held this book drive with other resident assistants in 2 Boylston Place to collect books for Rosie’s Place women’s shelter. 

“I only have so many books I can give, but I’m sure everybody in the building has books they want to share,” said Mondor. 

Founded in 1974, Rosie’s Place is the first women’s shelter in the United States that provides food and beds for low-income and homeless women in Boston. It has since evolved into a community center offering a wide range of support services, including emergency support such as food, shelter, and health programs; sustainable support like education and legal services; and community support, reaching 12,000 women annually.

Mondor has previously worked with Rosie’s Place through her sorority, Kappa Gamma Chi. The center provides Kappa Gamma Chi with volunteer opportunities to collect various donations, including books, clothes, and food, she said.

Kappa Gamma Chi held a clothing drive in November 2021 for Second Chances, an organization that provides clothing for homeless and low-income people in Cambridge, Somerville, and other neighboring communities. 

“[Organizations] are always emailing with opportunities, and I figured that I can make it into an RA thing too,” Mondor said.

“It feels really good to know that something that wasn’t doing anything for me is going to probably be useful to someone else,” said Jackie Cotter, a senior comedic arts major who contributed to the book drive. 

Cotter donated five books for the drive in genres ranging from fiction to self-help, which were “piling up somewhere” in her home. 

The drive tallied 25 books as of Sunday and accumulated a “diverse range of genres,” including biography, fiction, and manga. These diverse perspectives, reading levels, and languages are precisely what Rosie’s Place is looking for, according to Mondor.

The book drive was planned to last for five days, but Mondor decided to extend the drive for another week because students living off-campus wanted to donate books. 

All resident assistants in 2 Boylston Place were supportive and helped promote the event, said Mondor. An email regarding the drive was sent to all residents in the building and Mondor put posters around and reached out to resident assistants in other buildings to make sure more people were aware of the opportunity. 

She is considering making the book drive a long-lasting event for a semester or a year, despite her already planned semester at Emerson’s Los Angeles campus in the spring. 

“I think a lot of college kids are in the same scenario where we have a lot of material possessions that we don’t necessarily use or need,” said Cotter. “They could be going to other people who really use them.”