Thousands of kids' books shredded by USPS - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Thousands of kids' books shredded by USPS

(WMC-TV) - Thousands of Tennessee children get free books in the mail every month thanks to the Governor's Books from Birth Program. But some of the books are not making it to children at all, they are being shredded.

"Brand new, they're still in wrappers, they're great books," said Peter Abell, Shelby County Books from Birth. "'The Little Engine That Could', just books that we all love and grew up reading."

But, many may never make it because the U.S. Postal Service will shred them instead.

The Governor's Books from Birth program sends books to children all over the state. But, due to a change of address, some do not make it.

Up until now, USPS held the returned books for volunteers to come pick them up, but now it says it can no longer afford to do that.

"We hope that they realize that we'd like to continue to help save them money, which is what we do by collecting the books that would otherwise be destroyed," said Abell.

In Shelby County, roughly 34,000 books a month are sent out. Ninety-five percent will likely reach their intended destinations, but Abell says 400 to 1,000 books a month will not.

Since this is a nationwide program, that means hundreds of thousands of books will likely be shredded.

Abell says it is important for parents to remember to call or e-mail their local Books from Birth office to change their address if they move.

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