SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts (WGGB) — These days, kids with school and sports and other outside activities have little time for other things. But a Westfield boy is doing all that and still finding time to give back and Make A Difference.
12 year old Andrew Robitaille is a 7th grader at Springfield’s Academy Hill School. It’s a private school for bright and gifted children. And that’s one way to describe this young man. His school work is, as you might expect, demanding. In spite of that, he finds the time every month to volunteer with Link to Libraries. He volunteers once a month and says, “I go to the warehouse, home base for Link to Libraries to label books. My mom is a distributor of the books, she presents the books to schools. And sometimes I go with her to do that. It brings me to tears sometime to see the reaction of kids when they receive the books.”
It’s Andrew’s passion for Link to Libraries that led him to sponsor a book drive at his school. He collected more than 500 books. Link to Libraries mission is to distribute those new and gently used books to elementary school libraries and non-profit organizations and to encourage young people to read. Reading is one of Andrew’s passions. He says, “It gives me the opportunity to learn in a new form, learn about the world, learn about new people, learn about cultures.”
Andrew has a lot of reasons for giving his time to help Link to Libraries. He says, “I can’t imagine a world without reading. It is my free time really, it’s what I do in my free time, when I have free time, giving back to these kids who don’t have the opportunity is really a great thing for me to do.”
Link to Libraries co-founder Susan Kaplan couldn’t agree more. She says, “His focus is really on giving back. And I think that stems from his environment, he’s been brought up that way. I see his younger siblings are coming along the same way and are being nurtured by their parents. And isn’t that what we want? We want our boys and girls to be the next generation that’s going to be giving back, being our leaders.”
Andrew says he gets as much out of volunteering for Link to Libraries as he gives, “You are brought so much joy when you see the reaction on kid’s faces when they receive the books and you have so much joy just to know what you are doing is towards a great cause.”
And giving back is what this time of year is all about.
To learn more about Link to Libraries, you can visit their website, linktolibraries.org.