Lance & Marianne Matthes have been able to turn tragedy into triumph. Six years ago, their daughter Elizabeth Luke Matthes arrived stillborn. And yet, somehow, they were able to work through their grief and found a unique way to carry on her memory: by setting up a small non-profit charity group in her honor. Elizabeth’s Book Drive provides books to hospitals, group homes, and other service organizations that focus on the needs of children such as the Ronald McDonald House. And now, the group does so much more than that, helping to volunteer or even provide meals and more to organizations in need.
Marianne says she, her husband Lance, and their 3 1/2 year old daughter Daphne, choose to honor Elizabeth on the day she would’ve been born, July 25th, by delivering donated books and doing something special for a different child-centered organization every year. This year, they chose our Ronald McDonald House. She says she had volunteered at the House with her workplace, Keller Williams Greater Columbus, making a meal last Valentine’s Day and was so impressed with the House, she knew she wanted to do more through her own charity to help RMHC of Central Ohio. So the Matthes family, friends, and Elizabeth Book Drive volunteers came to make lunch for the families staying in the House, and donated hundreds of books to our library. In addition to that, the organization sponsored a guest room at the House.” We choose to donate to the Ronald McDonald House because as a parent, all we want for our children is for them to be safe and healthy.” Marianne said. “To have to watch your child be sick is agonizing and heartbreaking. We are so glad there is a place like the Ronald McDonald House that can be a home away from home to care for families during these trying times. What a blessing to be able to give to others in their time of need.”
To date, nearly 40,000 books have been given to children in need through Elizabeth’s Book Drive. You can donate new or used books by sending them via Media Mail to: Elizabeth’s Book Drive, 684 Agler Rd., Gahanna, OH 43230. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.