Anaik's Loving Library: Arizona nonprofit collecting books for Afghan refugees

The Arizona nonprofit Loving Library was started when the grandmother of 7-year-old Anaik was hospitalized with COVID-19. The boy realized that books would not only keep her busy but remind her that she is loved.

Now, the nonprofit has branched out by collecting books for Afghan refugees.

"The mission of Loving Library is to provide books to those in underserved communities, and with this specific drive we are working with the Scottsdale Unified School District and the International Rescue Committee who helps place refugees," said Anjleen Gumer.

Both of Gumer's sons attend school in the Scottsdale Unified School District where she says they've had the amazing opportunity to interact with a group of Afghanistan refugees. The kids, Gumer thinks, have made a positive impact on their lives and brighten the classrooms.

"We felt that we wanted to help them in whatever way possible, so Loving Library worked with SUSD and IRC to create a book drive," she said. 

Anaik Sachdev, his brother, friends and random volunteers have spent weeks now collecting books for the Afghan students.

"I just love it," Sachdev said. "My friends are involved and they actually care…they just like helping other kids like I do."

The book bundles include dictionaries to help translate and activity books. Some only have pictures.

The goal is twofold: help the kids learn English and provide them with something to do, and the stamp and sticker placed in each one reminds them that they can feel at home.

"That was actually Anaik's idea," said Anjleen Gumer. "He thought that it was really important that the people who receive these books knew that they were cared for and loved for, and so he created the logo that says Anaik's Loving Library on it."

"Every time someone opens it up they are reminded that they're cared for, there's someone out there thinking about them even though they may feel all alone and isolated," she said.

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