The Andie Summers Show

This young woman is changing lives by donating books to those who need it! That’s why it’s our Cup o’ Joy story for this morning on The Andie Summers Show.

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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Let’s Meet This Amazing Woman!

Emily Bhatnagar, a 19-year-old from Gaithersburg, Maryland, has collected and donated over 15-thousand children’s books to DC-area hospitals through her nonprofit, For Love and Buttercup. She started the initiative at 17 when her father, Mike Bhatnagar, was diagnosed with stage 4 thyroid cancer, as she wanted to help children facing health issues by offering them comfort through books. The book drive has become a family operation, with Emily’s father and brother supporting her efforts.

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(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Initially focusing on children undergoing cancer treatment, Emily expanded her donations to include all patients under 18. She selects diverse books and includes a personal note and occasionally a stuffed animal for the recipients. Emily says that seeing the children’s excitement when she hands them a book in person have been some of the most precious moments in her life.

She Does This In Honor Of Her Dad

Despite her father’s recent cancer relapse, Emily remains positive and committed to her nonprofit. As she takes virtual classes at Montgomery College, she hopes to eventually transfer to an in-person school and study psychology at Yale University. The book drive has not only provided solace and support for others but has also taught Emily about the beauty in the world and the value of a good distraction.

Fun Fact

This story and our main character, Emily Bhatnagar, is actually from the same town I am! I (Jeff Kurkjian) grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland, as well. And had a lot of friends study in the same school, Montgomery College, that Emily is currently studying at.

I believe, of all people to go on to study at Yale, this is absolutely a perfect candidate for their school. It isn’t always about the perfect grades but about something else special!

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