Reading Event Builds Excitement for Gallery Fundraiser

Volunteers with Think Together cleaned hundreds of donated books. March 30, they will host an event at Melissa Morgan Fine Art.

March 24, 2023
Story by Site Staff

During the Book Refresh event, organized by the nonprofit Think Together and held in early March at Desert Horizons in Indian Wells, approximately 400 donated books were collected and cleaned by volunteers. Thanks to Barry Meister, Lee Clancy, Mary Barth, and Sandra Drummond, the Book Refresh Event was a success, with the books donated to nearby Cathedral City Elementary. Think Together staff and students were ecstatic to receive the books and read the heartfelt handwritten messages left by the volunteers.

“I was sold on the idea of supporting Think Together last year when Randy Barth explained how Think Together afterschool programs benefit young children,” shared Barry Meister. “In addition to donating money, I, now for the first time, had the opportunity to volunteer hands-on to collect and give out books to children of all ages to read. Volunteering and knowing how kids enjoy reading was a very valuable and worthwhile personal experience for me.”

This event helped raise awareness about Think Together in the Coachella Valley community and engaged volunteers for the upcoming Raise a Hand for Education benefit happening March 30 at the Melissa Morgan Fine Art Gallery in Palm Desert.


The 400 books were gathered from various locations, including Orange County, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs. Volunteers were provided with instructions on how to clean and repair the books to be in the best condition possible for students. Think Together’s recently retired Mary Barth shared some powerful stories of her work with Think Together students to give them a sense of their impact.

Think Together bookmarks were given to volunteers, who wrote encouraging and inspirational notes to students and placed them inside the books according to reading level. The students were so excited to receive all the books, which ranged from picture books to novels. At the distribution, students were going through all the books and picked out ones to show their friends.

The volunteers who participated are excited for the next large volunteer engagement, which is scheduled to take place in the fall. Some are even signing up to become regular volunteers at local school sites.

If you want to learn more about Think Together visit or RSVP to attend Think Together’s Raise A Hand on March 30 to experience their mission firsthand.