The 34th annual Beloit Daily News “Books For Kids” donation drive has kicked off once again despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations can be made at drop box locations around Beloit.

BELOIT — Remember your first book? Was it a literary classic like Treasure Island, or a funny tome like Captain Underpants?

Now, think back to the joy that book brought and the reading skills that you developed that you still use today.

Putting a child on the path of becoming a life-time reader is an invaluable gift. That is a primary mission of the annual Books for Kids campaign that once again has started in the Stateline Area.

This is the 34th year for the campaign where the Beloit Daily News partners with the Salvation Army, as well as local businesses, service clubs and libraries to collect books for children who may not find may gifts under their Christmas tree this holiday season.

We are asking area residents to look through their closets and shelves for any gently used books that are appropriate for children that can be donated to the campaign. No dictionaries, encyclopedias or text books please.

The books can be dropped off at various collection sites, which include:

- The Beloit Public Library, 605 Eclipse Blvd.

- Bushel and Pecks Local Market, 328 State St.

- Culver’s Restaurant, 2676 Cranston Road

- Woodman’s Food Market, 1877 S. Madison Road

- Piggly Wiggly, 1827 Prairie Ave.

Although the Beloit Daily News office at 444 E. Grand Ave. is closed to the public, anyone who wishes to drop off books can knock on the door and someone will collect the book donations.

Monetary donations also will be accepted. The money collected will be used to purchase new books to add to those collected during the drive. Checks can be made out to Books for Kids and sent to the Beloit Daily News at 444 E. Grand Ave. in Suite 102.

Also, remember you can support two worthy causes at once at the Beloit Public Library. Those who purchase used books from the Friends At Beloit Library (FABL) shelves and then drop those books in the Books for Kids box are supporting the library and the book drive in one swoop.

Books will be accepted until Dec. 10, but the Salvation Army will begin distributing books on Dec. 4, so the Beloit Daily News will begin taking books over to the Salvation Army in only a few short weeks.