TYou Belong Book Project



In February 2023, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County kicked off a new initiative -- the You Belong Book Project, which is a year-long celebration of cultural heritage and identity through children's books. Each week, a community member will stop by to share a story they love with our audience. The recordings will be archived on United Way's YouTube channel, creating a rich and diverse library of early childhood readings. Please use the quick menu below to find book lists, this month's readings and more. 

New Readings | Book Drive | This Month's Book List | Book Lists for Other Months

New readings:

To celebrate MLK Day, we were joined by our own Education Director, JoAnna Rozier-Johnson, who read 'The Colors of Us' By Karen Katz.



The full You Belong Book Project library of nearly 50 storytimes can be accessed at any time below.

Watch the You Belong Book Project Story Time

Book Drive:

A quality education begins with reading. When children are able to read to learn, they imagine more richly, develop a stronger vocabulary and engage in critical thinking. For United Way, increasing access to books is one way we help set kids up for future success. In that spirit and to coincide with our weekly readings, United Way is hosting an ongoing book drive to benefit a variety of local nonprofit organizations.

Here's how you can help:


Use our specially curated book lists for each cultural heritage and identity recognition month to purchase books from your favorite retailer! You can double your impact in the community by shopping locally for the books that you donate. 


Books can be dropped off or shipped directly to United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, 742 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209 (Lobby hours 9 a.m. - 3 p.m, M-F) Orders through local booksellers can also be delivered directly to UWBEC. 

All books collected for the You Belong Book Project will be donated to several of our nonprofit partners in our community including Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns, Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network, Family Help Center, CleveHill School District, King Urban Life Center, YWCA Western New York, Jericho Road Community Health Center, Peace of the City, Seneca Street Community Development Center, Valley Community Center and the West Side Community Center. 


Inclusive Book Lists

Below please find links to 11 different book lists for each of the You Belong Months.


Please use the links below to find book lists each month 

 February: Black History  March: Women's History
 April: Arab-American Heritage  May: Asian-American Pacific Islander
 June: Pride  July: Disability Pride Month
 August: Get School Ready  September: Hispanic Heritage Month
 October: Mental Health Awareness  November: Native Heritage Month
 December: Holidays Around The World