The Books for Youth Program was developed in 2006 by the Indiana Department of Child Services in conjunction with the Indianapolis Colts and committed to placing 25 age appropriate books in a backpack for all foster youth and young adults throughout the State of Indiana.
One Man... One Story
At a local conference, keynote speaker Steve Pemberton, a former foster youth, and now Divisional Vice President at Walgreens, credited a gift from a stranger - a box of books - as the motivation for him to overcome great challenges in his life, realize there was a bigger world out there, and ultimately become a successful businessman, husband, father and community member.
“Reading gave me self-esteem, confidence and let me know, that despite the instability and uncertainty that was happening all around me, I did have a purpose and a place in this world after all. That small act of kindness... of giving this little boy a book...provided what I needed most: hope and belief that there was goodness in others. Years later, that disconnected boy has now yielded to the man, who has established his own roots... but I can still smell the pages of my books and remember, with glistening eyes and fond memories, the hope I found there.”
A Smart Handofff... The Indianapolis Colts
In December, 2006 the Indianapolis Colts joined the Books For Youth Team. This smart handoff has had an incredible impact on the success of the program -and on the hundreds of foster children who have received backpacks filled with 25 age appropriate books as a result of the Colts & Fans!
“The Colts are proud to team up with the Department of Child Services and the Books For Youth program on this important initiative. Understanding the transient nature of foster-care, we hope to provide deserving youth with books they can call their own, something few of these children have been able to say about anything. We encourage our fans to join us in this effort by donating a book at the various collections we will be hosting. Together we can give these children a gift they will treasure for life." Indianapolis Colts
Presenting Sponsor ... Cargo Services Inc.
As the presenting sponsor of the Books For Youth Program, Cargo Services Inc has hosted special book distribution events throughout Indiana for Foster youth. During each event, Colts mascot BLUE will host a special performance of his P.R.I.D.E. program. In addition, children will have an opportunity to walk through he Colts in Motion traveling museum, meet Colts Cheerleaders and receive their special backpack filled with 25 age appropriate books selected just for them.