Seven-Year-Old Harlem Youth Kicks Off Valentine’s Day Book Drive for Homeless Children

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Seven-Year-Old Harlem Youth Kicks Off Valentine’s Day Book Drive for Homeless Children

Blake Ansari donates a new library and 1,000 books to Win’s Glenwood Family Residence

Kohl’s Department Stores Honor Blake For His Community Outreach

(New York, NY – February 10, 2015) Blake Ansari, a seven-year-old Harlem resident, is kicking off his second annual Valentine’s Day book drive, donating 1,000 books to homeless children in New York City.

The books, along with brand new rainbow colored mini library, built by Blake, will be donated to Win, one of the largest nonprofit organizations serving homeless women and their families in New York City. A celebration of the donation will take place at Win’s Glenwood Family Residence in Brooklyn on Saturday, February 14, 2015, at 1:30 p.m.

“The new library space and books therein will give Win children and their families an opportunity for education, exploration, and empowerment as they travel the road to independence,” said Win President and CEO Bonnie Stone. “We are honored to be the beneficiaries of Blake’s extraordinary generosity.”

At the age of 6, Blake was inspired to donate books to homeless children after his parents – Nuri and Starita – read him a New York Time series about Dasani. The stories chronicled the life of 11-year-old homeless girl and family in Brooklyn, N.Y. Blake asked Tyrone Bowman, special assistant to Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, to find a shelter for his donation. Manhattan Councilwoman Rosenthal, Mr. Bob Gore, the late Jill Tarlov, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and Metropolitan Montessori School were major donors.

At the beginning of the year, Blake told his mom that he wanted to write President Obama. He penned a letter, asking the president to help him donate a Blake Mini Library to homeless and foster care children from Hawaii to Maine. He wrote, “There are millions of homeless children in the world, like Shakira and her baby Christian. Shakira had her baby while she was in high school and her family kicked her out of their home. Shakira carries all her things in a black garbage bag on her back and Christian in her arm. She goes from shelter to shelter, like the Trail of Tears, carrying everything on her back, because they had no home.”

The major donors for Blake Mini Library Valentine’s Day Book Drive are:

Kohl’s Department Store Caesar’s Bay (Brooklyn), Reader’s Digest Foundation, Kampus School (Brazil), Children’s Book Fair (Arizona), Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (Eastern Corridor), Dr. Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School (Bronx), Westside YMCA (Manhattan), Urban Health Plan (Bronx), Prince Hall Masons (Mount Vernon, NY), Prince Hall Order of the Eastern Stars (Mount Vernon, NY), Metropolitan Montessori School (New York, NY), Sydney’s Book Club, Mr. Bob Gore (Brooklyn).

Blake uses his allowance to purchase new books for homeless children age’s birth to 21. His grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Al and Del Boyce, established a charity – Connect to Your Best Self Foundation – to support Blake’s philanthropy. Connect to Your Best Self Foundation is seeking corporate and small business contributions for grants to student government organizations to improve the reading, writing and science literacy of children living in homeless shelters and foster care homes.

“It’s okay if the governments around the world cannot give libraries to homeless children,” Blake said. “I’m going to give libraries and science kits to every homeless child in every continent except Antarctica.”

Last year, Blake received the “Kohl’s Cares Regional Philanthropist Award” from Kohl’s Department Stores for organizing the 2014 Valentine’s Day book drive for homeless children in a New York City shelter.

To learn more about Blake Mini Library or join others who are donating books to homeless children; go to Blake’s Mini Library Facebook page, or contact Neil Foote, Foote Communications, LLC, 214.448.3765,



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The Abyssinian Fund To Exhibit Ethiopian Art Work at Harlem Fine Arts Show

The Abyssinian Fund will exhibit for sale 18 original pieces of Ethiopian art work during the Harlem Fine Arts Show this week.

Visitors to the celebrated art show at The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive, will be able to view and purchase the art work, produced by emerging Ethiopian artists who rarely get a chance to showcase their impressive contemporary images outside of Ethiopia. The works are by artists are associated with Makush, one of the largest commercial galleries in Addis Adaba.

The exhibition hours of the art show are 6 p.m. to Midnight, February 25th, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., February 26th and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. February 27th.

All proceeds from sale of artwork will be used to further the work of the Abyssinian Fund in the rural farming community of Chaffee Jeneta and to promote economic development in Ethiopia.

To learn more about The Abyssinian Fund, go to To purchase tickets to the Harlem Fine Arts Show website go to to learn more about the show.