In roughly five years, officials say they have helped give out roughly 250,000 books.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A nonprofit based in the city's Germantown neighborhood is helping to get tens of thousands of books directly into the hands of kids in the community.
The Philly Book Bank, which is operated by Reading Recycled out of the Martin Luther King High School, is home to an estimated 50,000 books.
"We have fiction, non-fiction, we also have teacher resources," explained Executive Director Anne Keenan.
Keenan has been running the book bank for the last five years. In that time, she says she and her volunteers have helped give out roughly 250,000 books.
"I realized a lot of the kids where I'm living have too much. So, I reached around and I got their gently used books which were virtually brand new and I thought 'Let's put them in the hands of kids,'" she said.
Every day, donors drop off boxes of books to the high school, and volunteers like Judy McDowell and Deidra Burden sort them into different age groups.
"Our kids need the love of books, they just need it," said Burden.
From there, the books will either go to a teacher's classroom within the School District of Philadelphia or directly to a child.
"It fills my spirit and makes me realize how really important it is for kids to be connected to books," said McDowell, the site coordinator.
One of the ways the initiative is getting books directly to the community is with sidewalk libraries, like the one in West Philadelphia at the Holly Street Neighbors Community Garden.
There, neighbors can walk right up and grab a book whenever they feel like it.
"I feel we have to give them a sense of hope and I think you can escape in a book," said Keenan.
After all, every book, every story can open up a whole new world for a child.
"They'll be like 'Can I have a book?' And you're like 'Wow. Did I make a difference like that?'" said Burden.