J.T. Morand was  looking for a special way to honor his mother, Betty. She passed away almost a year ago, but due to the pandemic, a memorial couldn’t happen until this summer. According to J.T., Betty knew the value of a book in a child’s life, so it made sense to collect books at her Celebration of Life. 

Guests at the June 22 service brought more than 80 books to be donated to  children at Children’s Home & Aid’s Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Child & Family Center and Mitzi Freidheim Englewood Child & Family Center 

Betty, who passed away peacefully at her home last summer at the age of 86, adored children, books, and being a librarian. She was particularly proud of her time as a librarian at the school of Saints Faith, Hope & Charity in Winnetka, where she was once a pupil.  

“My mom understood that a book could be your best friend. Reading can be extremely therapeutic and help you through times of despair.” – J.T. Morand

J.T. also tells us his mother would be overjoyed that the books were donated to an organization that is dedicated to helping children, adding, “She loved connecting children with books.” 

The Rice Center is a therapeutic residential center serving children ages 6 to 14, providing support, mental and behavioral health counseling, and skills to help children adapt to difficult situations and prepare families and children for the transition into a home environment.   

Some of the books were also donated to our Mitzi Freidheim Child & Family Center – an early education center serving children and families in the Englewood community. 

“Having access to new books in the Rice Library will allow children to continue learning outside of school hours,” said Joe Tranchita, Director of Residential Services at the Rice Center. “Books can establish a sense of normalcy for the children and help relieve anxiety. A good book offers a child an escape, and a window to new worlds they can explore. We are so grateful to this family for thinking of the children at the Rice Center in honor of their mom.” 

If you would like to create a special project in honor of or in memory of someone in your life, please contact Maureen Kelly at mkelly@childrenshomeandaid.org.