9-year-old uses books to strengthen community bonds

American Hero

(NewsNation) — Who doesn’t love a good book?

Nine-year-old Khloe Joiner from Missouri City, Texas, loves to read. She loves books so much that when she saved money to go to Disneyland, she didn’t go. Instead, she bought books.

Khloe didn’t stop there. She donated the books to her local police department so the officers could give them to other kids, launching a campaign known as A Book and a Smile.

“Always give back to your community,” Khloe said during an appearance on “Morning in America”. “I know it’ll make you feel good. For sure it makes me feel good when I give to other people, especially people in homeless shelters when they really need things.”

A Book and a Smile’s mission is to provide children all over the United States with books to help inspire them to do great things in life.

After noticing the fear her community has for law enforcement, Khloe wanted to do something to strengthen that relationship.

“I don’t know why,” Khloe said of being afraid of the motorcycle-riding police officer she saw in her hometown when she was 4 years old, but felt that if an officer gave out books, that would be a way of getting to know they weren’t scary.

Khloe’s grandmother did not want her granddaughter to live in fear of cops, despite the history of police violence against African-Americans, so she set up a meeting.

From that meeting, A Book and a Smile was born with a mission to help strengthen ties between the community and law enforcement, with books as the currency to help uneasy children during police encounters.

So Khloe took the $141 that she had been saving for a trip to Disneyland to buy more than a hundred books that were then donated to the police department to pass along to children.

As of March 7, Khloe has given more than 18,000 books to children.

Khloe was dedicated to donating one thousand books in the month of February, with the bigger goal of donating 1 million books on the horizon.

“1,000,000 books for 1,000,000 kids,” her website declares.

Her mission to collect and donate books is truly a selfless act for a 9-year-old saving for a trip to Disneyland.

“After I used my money to buy books, I guess we just put it behind,” she said. “I kept on giving books away and I guess we just forgot.”

So what’s next for Khloe? A goal for all children to have new books in their home library, a new book club and, hopefully soon, that much-deserved trip to Disneyland.

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