WAILUKU, Hawaii (KHON2) — Ernest Hemingway once said that “there is no friend as loyal as a book.” Books push the mind to expand and comforts the soul in distress.

Barnes & Noble donated over 1,000 books to Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start preschoolers. The drive benefited 150 children that participate in Maui’s preschool program.

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Children’s book favorites from Dr. Seuss to Llama Llama and many more were donated at the Barnes & Noble located in Kahului and presented to MEO earlier in December.

“The gift of books, which some of our families are unable to afford, could leave an imprint on a child for a lifetime,” said MEO CEO Debbie Cabebe. “Don’t we all have fond memories of our favorite childhood books from ‘The Ugly Duckling’ to ‘The Giving Tree.’”

  • Amanda Atlan, Lead Bookseller for Barnes & Noble in Kahului, stands beside boxes of books from the store’s Holiday Book Drive that are headed to MEO Head Start in December 2022 in Wailuku, Hawai'i. (Photo/Maui Economic Opportunity)
  • Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start preschooler Derek Kahalekai Jr. delves into his new “Trucks” book, which he received through the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive in December 2022 in Wailuku, Hawai'i. (Photo/Maui Economic Opportunity)
  • Kailani Rae Kahoohanohano Sanchez will be busy reading these books received through the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive in December 2022 in Wailuku, Hawai'i. (Photo/Maui Economic Opportunity)
  • Mateo Leon holds up books given to MEO Head Start from the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive in December 2022 in Wailuku, Hawai'i. (Photo/Maui Economic Opportunity)

Maui’s Head Start program benefits children living on Maui and Moloka’i who are part of low-income families or for children who are houseless.

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“Thank you so much to the donors and Barnes & Noble for selecting MEO Head Start as the beneficiary of the Holiday Book Drive. MEO and our Head Start families are so grateful.”