HARLINGEN — This fifth grader not only aims to spread cheer to other students this season through books.
He also hopes it will help spread awareness about the importance of inclusivity during the holidays.
With the help of his parents, Judith and Joe Moreno, Jaythan, 10, from Jubilee Academies-Harlingen, aims to help his school library get more books and spread awareness about food allergies.
Now through Dec. 31 Jaythan is collecting new and gently used pre-kindergarten through eighth grade reading level books.
His overall goal is to collect 300 books.
According to Judith, her son’s book drive is gaining support from people across the country.
“It’s awe-inspiring. In its first week, 120 books were donated from Harlingen, Austin and McAllen by our amazing community, family and friends,” she said. “We also have had books coming in from California, New York, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina.”
Judith believes the book drive also brings awareness of food allergies in the community.
Since Dec. 2, she has been helping her son organize the book drive through her food allergy awareness group
“Tealing RGV FFA.”
As a mother of a son with a life-threatening peanut allergy, she felt inspired to create the awareness group because she believes food allergies are often overlooked and are not taken seriously.
“Children like my son, who suffer from food allergies, need to avoid their allergens and cross contact to prevent a life-threatening reaction,” she explained. “For these children, exposure of their allergens can result in a serious reaction.”
She hopes the book drive will inspire other community members to become more aware of the dangers of food allergies.
“It takes a village to care for children with food allergies — avoidance, education, preparation and communication are the keys to keeping them safe and healthy,” she said.
For more information on Jaythan’s Book Project, visit Tealing RGV Food Allergy Awareness on Facebook.
BOOK DRIVE DROP OFF LOCATIONS
• Jubilee Harlingen, 123 South Palm Ct Drive
• Valley Vista Mall, 2020 South Expressway 83
• Footworks, 2224 South 77 Sunshine Strip
• Quips N Quotes, 709 North 77 Sunshine Strip
• Five Below, 2827 West Expressway 83
• Amazon wish list, https://tinyurl.com/wlmwuhs.