The great Maya Angelou once said, “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

The QC Diversity Book Drive is collecting books for grades K-6 with a focus on strong women and girls, people of color, LGBT individuals, and a wide variety of people to reflect our diverse community. Subjects include STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, women’s history, environmental education, inclusiveness, and more. They are collecting books throughout the month of April to be distributed to students at Monroe Elementary School in Davenport, IA, and Spring Forward QC summer reading program in Rock Island, IL, both of which serve low-income areas of the Quad Cities.

Linnea Crowther and Cathy Lafrenz are the warm-hearted women behind this amazing book drive. Linnea stated, “the idea started when we were working on a donation drive for a local domestic violence shelter a few months ago and started talking about wanting to do another drive when it was done. Cathy and I had the idea of a children’s book drive basically at the same time, so it felt like we were meant to do it! I suspect I can speak for both of us when I say that now more than ever, we’re feeling a real need to help people in our community who don’t have the same advantages we have.”

Cathy added, “I think we were both disturbed about the cuts in education and social programs, so we decided to try to do something to make a small difference in our community.”

Books can be donated through the group’s Amazon wish list, available at There will also be in-person book drop-off opportunities, including at the People’s Climate Movement QC rally on Saturday, April 29 at Modern Woodmen Park.

Cathy Lafrenz notes that the book drive seeks to collect only new books: “We really want each child to get the thrill of a new book that is theirs alone. There is an excitement of getting something brand new… particularly if they haven’t had that often in their life.”

Please consider helping these two amazing women help others!

For more information, contact

Find QC Diversity Book Drive on Facebook at




Tess Abney was born and raised in the Quad Cities. Her passion for writing and entertainment was apparent at a very young age. Whether it is sharing local events and businesses with readers or sharing her thoughts on life, she finds comfort in the way words can bring people together.