Pandemic not slowing down teen's mission to bring joy of reading to kids

CHERRY HILL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Back in December we introduced you to Rebecca Benjamin, a 17 year old who started her own non-profit when she was just 10 years old.

Rebecca's Mission distributes books to underserved children.


It's understandable teens like Rebecca have their own obstacles right now, between navigating virtual learning and coming to terms with the fact this pandemic has taken away many milestones and rites of passages: proms, college tours, sports and friends.

However, in true Rebecca spirit, she continues to put her energy towards mentoring and supporting those who need some positive inspiration right now.

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Despite the restrictions of COVID-19, the high school junior is finding ways to grow her philanthropy.

Rebecca told Action News, "Our mission of providing access to books is still feasible. We just had to be more creative."
It is Rebecca's creativity and empathy that have allowed her to reach thousands of local kids through the power of reading. While her in-class visits have been put on pause, the mission of the organization has persevered in underserved communities.

"I heard about a bunch of schools who were handing out lunches to all their kids who qualified for free and reduced lunch - well, let's fuel the body and the brain at the same time", said Rebecca.

With the help of her family and local school districts, she has continued her book distribution in safe ways. On Tuesday, she gave the Burlington Police Department the tools to make a positive connection to their community in a unique way.

Chief John Fine of the Burlington Police Department said, "Often times what we are seeing is that they don't have access to literature or reading material so in order to have the literature so distribute on the streets with police officers is a way we can engage on a different level."
In addition, Rebecca remains connected to the children she serves through social media by hosting a Facebook Live every day where she reads a new book to re-create the classroom feel kids are missing.


"I think teachers have the hardest job but I'm doing my best to fill that void one book at a time."

To find out ways to donate you can head to RebeccasMission.org and visit her Facebook page.

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