During the month of May, new children’s books can be dropped off at any Summit Dental Health location throughout Omaha in honor of the 7th Annual Books for Charley initiative through the Charley’s Heart Foundation. The books will be donated to the Omaha Children’s Hospital. Over 11,000 books have been donated to children’s hospitals and pediatric units since Books for Charley began in 2011.
Books for Charley is an annual book drive in memory of Charlotte (Charley) Ritchie, daughter of Matt and Kristen Ritchie of Gretna, Nebraska. Charley was born with a congenital heart defect. After numerous hospital stays, procedures and open heart surgeries, Charley passed away on May 31, 2011, just two weeks after celebrating her first birthday.
After losing Charley, her family knew that they needed to do something to help keep her memory alive and to stay involved with other families with children with congenital heart defects. “Charley’s Heart was formed in an attempt to help provide support to others in the heart community, fund continued research for congenital heart defects, raise awareness, and above all, to celebrate Charley’s life,” says Kristen Ritchie, Charley’s mom.