Spotlight of the Week: Emmy Foltz

Founder and Creator of Local Community Service Project


Courtesy of Emmy Foltz

Emmy displays some of the books that she has collected for the Books for Babies program.

This week, Type One sat down with senior Emmy Foltz to talk about her extensive involvement in community service in Broward County. Emmy sheds light on Books for Babies, an organization she created her freshman year by partnering with non-profit organization Healthy Mother, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County, and shares how to get involved in these activities in the community.

T1: Why did you decide to start Books for Babies?

Emmy: I wanted to create this organization after learning that knowing how to read from a young age can improve children’s lives in so many ways: reading increases IQ and allows children to stay in school longer, no matter what their socio-economic status is. I am so happy with how far my program has come because of all of the donations I have received from the people of Broward County that directly benefit members of our community. I love spending time reading with the kids and seeing the way the books affect their lives.


T1: How were you able to bring Books for Babies to life?

Emmy: I first started by asking Pine Crest and local businesses to set up collection boxes to collect books. Then, during my sophomore year, I reached out to Publix Supermarkets and asked if they would donate books to my project. They offered to do an employee book drive with all the Publix employees in Broward County (where there are approximately 150 Publix locations) and in total, since my freshman year, the program has collected over 25,000 books for children in need.


T1: How long have you been running this program?

Emmy: I had already been working with Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies throughout middle school, but started Books for Babies because I decided that a book sharing program would the perfect addition to the non-profit organization. We have been running for approximately four years.


T1: What was your mission in creating the Books for Babies program?

Emmy: My mission is to give books to the children and families who work with the organization to promote the children’s literacy rates.


T1: Where do most of your books come from, and where do they go after they are collected?

Emmy:  All of the books that I collect either come from Pine Crest, local businesses, or through the two employee book drives at Publix supermarkets. The books we collect benefit children in need in South Florida, but some of the books we have received have also been shipped to Jamaica to benefit families in need there through a different program at Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies.


T1: How can people become involved if they would like to be a part of your program?

Emmy:  People can bring in new or gently used children’s books written for children aged 0-5, as we are always in the market for new books. A student can receive one community service hour for every five books that he or she donates.


T1: Do you have any intention of expanding this program in the future?

Emmy: I am in need of someone at Pine Crest to take over the program after I graduate this year. If people have any questions about the program or are interested in doing so, they can email me at [email protected]


Emmy’s hard work and dedication to giving back to others has greatly helped thousands of children in need in Broward County. She hopes that her work can inspire others to take similar actions to better their community and change the world one step at a time.