Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) is a Boston institution, a venerable publisher with roots that go back nearly two hundred years. Christmas in the City is a more recent institution – we’ve been growing our roots since 1989. Two years ago, these two institutions connected, and HMH began donating books to Christmas in the City. This year’s donation brings their total to 30,000 books, ranging from classics like Curious George that engage preschoolers, on up to books aimed at those in junior high. And, since this is the holiday season, the HMH donation once again includes a generous supply of The Polar Express.
“Literacy is the building block on which all future academic success is built,” Andrew Russell, Senior Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, at HMH, told us. “HMH’s corporate social responsibility investments focus on delivering better educational outcomes for underserved students. There’s no better way you can position a child for success in school and in life than by giving them a book and reading to them.” Because the company is headquartered in here, HMH has focused its community investments on Boston. “When we thought about making an impactful donation of books for the holidays in Boston, Christmas in the City, with its commitment to underserved children, was the first organization that came to mind.” This year, for the second time, Houghton Mifflin will also be sending volunteers to the party.
While we don’t think of ourselves as “educational”, our mission is to reach out to the children in our community most in need of some magic in their lives – the kind of magic that comes when the kids first walk into Winter Wonderland, and the kind of magic so beautifully conveyed in The Polar Express. Our mission is also to make these neediest of children smile – and if anyone can look at Curious George without smiling, well…
Christmas in the City is immensely grateful to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for their generosity. It means the world – and opens up the world – to the kids we serve. If we were wearing a hat – a hat just like the one that the Man in the Yellow Hat wears in the Curious George books – we would be taking it off to HMH, our fellow Boston institution!