Center's corporate affiliates program gain valuable volunteer experience

Volunteers from the University's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) and Hands-on Bay Area came together last night for "Bring Me A Book" Volunteer Night. The event took place at the Bring Me A Book headquarters in nearby Mountain View, where the volunteers had dinner and learned about the organization.

Denise Masumoto, Shorenstein APARC's manager of corporate relations, headed the 20 volunteers from APARC, who are visiting fellows doing research at Stanford for a year and represent countries including China, India, Japan and the Philippines. Masumoto said APARC became affiliated with the Bring Me A Book Program when she found the program online and thought it represented an integral part of American lifestyle and culture. She also hoped that it could "encourage the visiting fellows to volunteer in other ways in their own countries."

"It is an honor to host the students of Stanford's Asia-Pacific Research Center," said Bring Me A Book volunteer coordinator and community outreach manager Montez Davis. "Since many of these volunteers have families, this is the perfect way for them to experience first hand the difference you can make in the future success of a child all through volunteer work."

Bring Me A Book began with Judy Koch's mission to provide easy access to the best childrens' books and to inspire reading aloud with children. The foundation aims to provide brand-new books of the best quality to children who do not have the means to obtain them otherwise.

"We believe that every child deserves books of the same quality," said Bring Me A Book office manager Erin Smith.

Bring Me A Book is affiliated with volunteer corporations such as CISCO, Google and Starbucks, as well as other non-profit organizations. Hands-on Bay Area is a non-profit organization that aims to make volunteer work easy and accessible, organizers said.

Davis hosted the event along with Donovan Cook '66, director of development for Bring Me A Book. The pair began by giving the volunteers a brief tour around the headquarters and updating the volunteers on their latest plans.

The organizers mentioned projects including the recent distribution of Karen Ehrhardt's This Jazz Man to Oakland Public Schools like the Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School and the recent openings of Bring Me A Book in places such as Hong Kong, Malawi, Mexico and the Philippines.