A New Jersey family-owned nonprofit is on a mission to spread love through literacy.
Last June, Kaila Boulware Sykes and her husband Raymond Sykes opened Hidden Gems Literary Emporium, a donation-based bookstore in New Brunswick. On opening day, the shelves were filled with 10,000 donated books of all genres and for all ages.
News about their bookstore spread like wildfire, and soon they were getting donations from all over the world.
It just snowballed into a huge just library of love,” Kaila told Fox News. “Since then, people have donated over 40,000 books.”
The store is run entirely on donations. Some customers will donate $1, while others donate $100. However, if someone comes in with empty pockets, Kaila will always tell them to take as many books as they need.
Each year, the Sykes family plans to take their bookstore on the road to deliver thousands of free books and educational resources to children and families.
They went on their first free book tour July 2021, one month after they opened. The couple described it as a life changing experience as they recalled the smiles they encountered after giving away free books, games, and educational tools to families.
Unfortunately, their minivan has since broken down.
The family is currently fundraising for a Class A RV that will be converted into a mobile book experience where they will give away free books, host literary classes, and more.