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Tampa Prep Upper School students Inaaya Firoz ’25 and her sister Muryum ’27 feel strongly about the importance of making sure every child has access to the world of books and recently launched a book drive to help local at-risk children.  Inaaya recently took the time to answer a few questions:

TP: What is the name of the project that you and your sister are currently working on?

“We are working on the Joshua House Book Drive, aiming to collect book donations that will be given to the Joshua House. We are looking for new or gently used children’s books.”

TP: Who will this project benefit?

“The book drive is intended to benefit the children living in the Joshua House, which is a group home for children in the community who have been abused, abandoned, and neglected.”

TP: How did you choose Joshua House?  Do you have a connection to this organization and if so, how did that come about?

“Last year, I participated in the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council and during one of the monthly meetings where I was taking notes as the secretary, I learned about the organization and its mission, which piqued my interest and prompted me to conduct further research on Joshua House. For some time, Muryum and I had been discussing the idea of conducting a book drive, but we were unsure of which organization to support as there are so many options available. However, given that I had recently recalled learning about Joshua House, we decided to support this organization.”

TP: Why is this cause important to you?

“We chose this project because books provide a sense of comfort to children who are in the Joshua House while allowing them to educate themselves. Books are essential aspects of one’s life in helping to establish a sense of individuality, and they also help kids learn about the society we live in. It’s more important than ever for children living in the Joshua House to be able to have access to a diverse variety of books. Books can provide a sense of comfort to these children who have been placed in these difficult situations, as they provide an “escape” from their everyday worries. This is why we chose to specifically assist the Joshua House by donating books.”

TP: When/where/how can people help?

“People can donate books to the Joshua House by placing them in the box under the stairwell in the Tampa Prep lobby until next Monday (April 22) when Muryum and I will deliver the books to the kids.”