Anne Arundel Fire Fighters Donate More Than 400 Books to Kids

July 2 • 2015
Inspired by a similar program conducted in a neighboring county, Anne Arundel County, MD Local 1563 member Brian Holtslander organized a book drive to benefit Anne Arundel Early Start and the Annapolis Family Support Center. The response he got was overwhelming. Fellow local 1563 members and area citizens donated more than 400 books.

To start, Holtslander contacted the Maryland Family Network, a non-profit organization that seeks to be an advocate for children’s issues and to administer outreach programs for youngsters, including Early Head Start programs.

“I wanted to really make a difference, so I didn’t want to donate just a couple of books, but as many as I could,” says Holtslander.

Local 1563 members and citizens were encouraged to donate new or lightly used books to drop boxes at Anne Arundel County fire stations.

Gowland, a 23-year veteran fire fighter, entertained the kids by giving a spirited reading of “Clifford the Firehouse Dog.”

The donated books were then collected and delivered to the support centers where Local 1563 members and the Maryland Family Network held an event where children could hear stories and pick out books. Local 1563 active and retired members at the event included Hotlslander, Mike Stoshnoski, Ray Hardesty, Bill Poteet, Deb Poteet and Mario Gowland.

“The kids really loved that and the fact that they could take home some of their favorite books,” says Hotlslander.