December 18, 2008

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AAF Members Donate Nearly 7,000 Books to Children Across the Country

Advertising Community Joins Together for Public Service Literacy Initiative; 2,000 Books Sent to Hurricane Katrina Victims


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Members from the American Advertising Federation's (AAF) corporate organizations, clubs and college chapters donated almost 7,000 books to the Books for Kids Foundation as part of a three-week nationwide book drive. In total, AAF's combined membership donated 6,685 books valuing over $60,000. Participants also donated more than $750 directly to the Books for Kids Foundation.

The Books for Kids Foundation provides books, creates children's libraries in underserved locations and participates in reading initiatives with community-based organizations. Book donations benefit nonprofit community-based organizations located nationwide and in the AAF's 15 geographic districts. The AAF specifically collected books for children in kindergarten through third grade.

Thirty AAF advertising clubs participated in the drive, with the largest donations coming from AAF – East Central Indiana, AAF – Dothan, AAF – Baton Rouge, AAF – Jackson and AAF – Tuscaloosa. AAF corporate members who donated books include McCann Worldgroup, the Hearst Corporation, the National Geographic Society, Draftfcb, Meredith Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, whose Disney Publishing Worldwide donated 5,000 copies of the award-winning New York Times best seller Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. AAF college chapters that participated include University of Illinois, Northwood University and Michigan State University.

"We are extremely proud of and thankful for the extraordinary donations from the AAF membership to our first book drive," said AAF President and CEO James Edmund Datri. "The AAF and the advertising community recognize the importance of providing books to children at an early age, and we're thrilled to assist the Books for Kids Foundation in their mission to promote children's literacy."

Anne Marie Principe, CEO of the Books for Kids Foundation, added, "We are deeply grateful to the clubs, college chapters, corporate members and staff of the American Advertising Federation for their generous donation of almost 7,000 books to our foundation.

"Their contribution could not have come at a better time. Almost immediately upon their arrival, 2,000 of the books collected by the AAF were transported by the New York Fire Department to Louisiana and distributed to the still-struggling victims of Hurricane Katrina, providing these children with a crucial source of enjoyment and inspiration in an environment where the day-to-day realities can be disheartening."

Two publishers also contributed books to the drive. EDC Publishing offered free online shipping and matched 50 percent of the AAF's online contributions, sending 241 additional books, and Great Plains Press donated 100 books.

The AAF teamed up with FedEx to make shipping for the project more cost-effective. In order to facilitate the shipment of book donations to Books for Kids headquarters, FedEx offered all book drive participants a discount FedEx Express® services and FedEx Ground® services.

Said Principe, "All of the donations by the AAF will find their way into after-school programs, daycares, detention centers, hospitals, homeless shelters and other places where the purchasing of books is too often a luxury that can't be afforded. Most importantly, these books will end up in the hands of thousands of children for whom such a valuable, powerful possession is a rare and exciting gift."

For a full list of the book drive participants and updates on donation recipients, please visit www.aaf.org/books. For more information, contact Hilary Woodward at hwoodward@aaf.org or (202) 898-0089.

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The American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 40,000 professionals in the advertising industry. The AAF has a national network of 200 ad clubs located in ad communities across the country. Through its 215 college chapters, the AAF provides 6,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has 130 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation's leading brands and corporations. For more information, visit the AAF's Web site at www.aaf.org.