Bay Area couple collects thousands of books for Camp Fire victims

Lafayette (KGO) -- The power of books. It certainly manifested itself for an East Bay couple who came up with an idea to collect books for Camp Fire victims.

It all began last December when Melissa and Dustin Gianotti created the Facebook page "Books for Butte". They shared it with friends and asked for book donations.

The message caught on. They had books coming in from all over the country to their Lafayette home.

They have already given away nearly 15,000 to people who lost their homes around Paradise.

"We're hoping to give people a sense of normality back. A way to escape that trauma. A way to dive into a book and feel something familiar," said Dustin Gianotti as he loaded up dozens of boxes full of books for another huge book give away in Chico.

Mae Ellis agrees. She and her husband loaded up a trailer full of books to take to Chico.

"I think it will help them work towards getting past a minute amount of the fire and to help them move forward, every day, minute by minute," said Ellis.

Gianotti said they fire victims have been in contact with him and have requested specific books. They do their best to fulfill those requests.

"Our intention when we first started this was to help rebuild their libraries, was to help give them their cherished stories back. We started by saying, 'what books do you miss,'" said Gianotti.

The book give away will be held Sunday, May 26, at the Pleasant Valley Recreation Center in Chico.

Books for Butte is still accepting donations for future giveaways. If you are interested in donating, contact them on their public Facebook page.
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