Volunteer

We Can’t Do It Without You

Volunteers fuel our operation. From sorting and packing, to running a book drive, to passing out books directly to kids, there are meaningful opportunities for individuals and groups of all ages to make an impact.

Scroll down to see the ways you can get involved!

Two smiling young women seated at a table of books at the Cleveland Kids' Book Bank warehouse

Sort & Pack Books

On-Site Volunteering in Our Warehouse

We welcome individuals (ages 13+) and groups of up to 20 people to sort and box books during our scheduled shifts. Browse, batch, and box books for distribution to organizations serving children and families in need. You’ll enjoy reminiscing with other volunteers about your favorite childhood books as you dig through hundreds of books and prepare them for young readers to discover.

Public volunteer shifts typically accommodate up to 10 people on weekday mornings and up to 20 people on evenings and Saturdays.

Volunteers will be assigned tasks upon arrival and will work among other volunteers. If you need or prefer extra social distancing, please let us know when you arrive so we can ensure your comfort.

Questions? Visit our FAQ section.

Coming with a group? Please use the group request form below.

Two volunteers sort books from a gaylord in the Cleveland Kids' Book Bank warehouse

Young Professionals Sip & Sort Shifts

Network While You Sort and Pack

Once a month, our Kids’ Book Bank Young Professionals Board hosts a public Young Professional volunteer shift.

This is a great evening activity for networking and meeting other young professionals in their early stages of their careers. BYOB is welcome for these after-work events!

Sign up for a YP  Sip & Sort shift below, and check out our Young Professionals page for more details about our YP Board.

young adult man holds books

Off-Site Volunteering

We also have ways for volunteers to help us outside of the warehouse. Volunteers can help us distribute books directly to kids at community events, delibrary books off-site, or complete some virtual tasks on their own time. See below for how to volunteer with us off-site. 

Off-Site Book Distribution

Individuals (18+) can volunteer to represent the Kids’ Book Bank at community events. You will support a staff member or Kids’ Book Bank Ambassador at these events, assisting kids and families in choosing free books to take home. 

De-Library-ing Books

We receive tons of decommissioned books from libraries that are in great condition. Since we want books to be added to kids’ home libraries, we remove the library plastic and mark out library stickers so that kids know that these books are theirs to keep!

When books are available, delibrarying can be done off-site. Email Jazz Wilson to inquire and/or schedule a time to pick up books to delibrary off-site.

 

 

woman standing at table with boxes and bags of books

Stock Little Free Libraries

Filling Little Free Libraries is a Great Family Activity

  • Use your own books or pick up some from our warehouse, Tuesday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
  • Select 5-10 Little Free Libraries to fill.
  • Plan your route using our Little Free Library map.
  • Return extra books and/or damaged books removed from Little Free Libraries to us.

Run a Book Drive

Book Collection Is a Breeze

We distribute up to 30,000 books per month, and our need for good-quality children’s books is endless.

Our Book Drive Tool Kit makes it easy to run a book drive to collect children’s books at your workplace, school, church, organization, or even in your neighborhood!

We especially need books for early childhood through 3rd grade and books showing diversity.

books

FAQs About Volunteering

Thank You For Your Interest

Below are some common questions (and answers!) about volunteering at the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank.

If your question is not answered here, or if you need more information, give us a call at 216.417.1803 or email jasmine@kidsbookbank.org.

Is there an age requirement to volunteer?

Yes. Volunteers must be 13 or older. Volunteers ages 13-15 must be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

For questions, or for suggestions on how younger children can get involved, please contact Jazz Wilson. (Hint! Stocking Little Free Libraries or running a book drive is a great family activity!)

How long is a volunteer shift?

Our in-warehouse book sorting and packing shifts last two hours. Off-site volunteer opportunities can last longer depending on the event. Check the Off-Site Volunteer calendar for more details on specific off-site events.

When can I volunteer?

We have scheduled shifts Tuesday through Saturday—every day that we are open! There is at least one shift offered per day, with 2-3 shifts on certain days. For a comprehensive schedule of upcoming shift dates and times, or to sign-up, please visit our volunteer sign-up page.

How do I sign up for shift?

To sign up yourself (or a group of five or fewer people), please visit our volunteer sign-up page. Public group shifts can accommodate between 10-20 people. Shifts are posted 60 days in advance.

Private group shifts can accommodate up to 20 people. For private groups or groups of more than eight, please submit a group request form.

Can I volunteer with a group?

Absolutely! Group volunteer shifts are a great team-building experience. To request a volunteer shift for your group, please submit a group volunteer request form, and one of our staff members will get back to you.

Where are you located?

The Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank is located in MidTown, one street north of Chester Ave., between E. 36th and E. 40th Streets at 3635 Perkins Ave. You can find detailed directions here.

Where should I park?

There is ample free parking in the lot adjacent to our building. Drive to the back of the lot. You’ll enter through the door to the left of Loading Dock B. See our detailed directions for a helpful photo.

What will I be doing during my volunteer shift?

Having lots of fun and meeting wonderful people! You can also expect a brief training prior to the shift. Then you’ll begin to handle hundreds of books as you check them for condition, sort them by reading level, and box them for distribution to our partner organizations. We have a variety of tasks that are determined both by our need at that time and volunteers’ abilities. If you have accessibility needs, don’t hesitate to let us know so that we can best accommodate you in our space!

What should I wear?

Please wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. Sorting books can be dusty work, so please keep that in mind. You’ll be working in a warehouse environment, and it can get warm in the summer and cool in the winter, so please plan accordingly.

Is there anything I should bring with me?

KIDS’ BOOKS! We are always in need of book donations. Ask your friends/coworkers/neighbors if they have any gently-used children’s books they’d like to donate, and bring them with you when you come.

We have water available, but many volunteers bring their own water bottles.