- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) - An Onslow County Boy Scout who was hoping to collect 500 books for a local program that helps children has more than met his goal.

The Daily News of Jacksonville reports (https://bit.ly/1J6EJOI) that when Matthew Mills was done, he’d filled a trailer with 4,700 books.

Mills, who is on track to become an Eagle Scout, reached out to schools, churches and local businesses to ask for gently used books that he could donate to the Onslow County Partnership for Children, a nonprofit that advocates and provides services for children. He said while he liked the idea of raising books for children who didn’t have any, he didn’t expect such a big turnout.

Galenda Webb said she was so excited to pick up books for her four grandchildren and couldn’t stop smiling as she held onto a stack that included “Pete the Cat,” ”The Mouse Who Wanted to Marry” and “Where Does the Garbage Go?”

Lisa Davis, the early learning coordinator with Partnership for Children, said the program has provided 126,000 books over the past 13 years. The books Mills collected will help children and adults through child protective services, the Jacksonville Police Department and local hospitals.

“We can find them a home, that’s for sure,” Davis said.

The drive also meant a lot to Amy Mills, a former English teacher who said she is very proud of her son - a lover of books as well. He said his favorite novel is “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton.

“It was nice to see the smiles on their faces,” Matthew Mills said. “It’s nice that they enjoy books.”

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Information from: The Daily News, https://www.jdnews.com

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