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The author donates thousands of children’s books to Operation Santa Claus

PHOENIX — “This is learning shapes, this is learning five senses, learning colors,” Donna Eastin Garrison said, pointing to hundreds of boxes at her home in Peoria on Monday.

They contain more than 6,000 books intended for children throughout the valley.

“This helps kids understand that shapes are everywhere in their world, so they can see shapes in everything they use,” Donna said as she flipped through the pages of one of the colorfully drawn books.

Donna is the author of a unique series of books focused on helping children understand basic knowledge such as colors, senses, shapes and feelings.

“I created these learning books based on the skills and concepts that kids need to know by the time they get into kindergarten,” Donna said.

Drawing on her more than two decades of early childhood education experience, Donna created the character of Bun Bun the bunny rabbit to take children on a learning adventure. It’s a series of books that are not only fun for parents and their children, but also provides an interactive experience that helps prepare little ones for success in the classroom.

“Not only does the book have a story, it gives the kids an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned,” Donna said.

Thanks to Donna’s incredible heart, she contacted Sanderson Ford to donate thousands of copies, along with thousands of stuffed buns, to ABC15’s Operation Santa Claus charity.

“It’s about giving back to the community, with a focus on children,” said Max Sirstins.

Sirstins is with Sanderson Ford and says he started the annual Operation Santa Claus 22 years ago. Operation Santa Claus is now raising food, new toys, new children’s clothing and monetary donations through December 20th to benefit five local Valley charities.

“It’s great for someone to go out and buy a toy, that will make a child very happy, but a labor of love, when they’re handmade or handwritten books, the author Donna makes them, it’s just very special.” said Sirstins.

For Donna, it’s a gesture she hopes will inspire others to do the same. But more importantly, it offers countless moments of eager learning for children and their families this holiday season.

“It’s important to give to others, because that’s what this world is about,” Donna said.

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