Teenage bookworm shares passion for reading with thousands of underprivileged students

Recently, Chase Hartman and his family delivered more than 2,000 books to students at Wimauma Elementary School. 

"I've always been passionate in reading and writing, and so I wanted to share my love of reading and writing, and I thought this was the perfect way to do it," he explained.  

Hartman started collecting gently used books with a friend in 2015.

"The moms had to be the ones to carry the heavy boxes of books," shared Kim Parrish, Chase's mom. "And at about 25,000 books, I thought, are we done yet?" 

Hartman eventually recruited his younger brother Zach to help. They call their effort Eco Brothers. 

"It makes you feel really good to see all the kids," he shared. "When they come in, they see all the books. It makes me feel really happy, especially if it's just a small smile and then picking up a book. I know that it made their day and it makes me really happy."  

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Principal Ismael Lebron-Bravo says it's a great way to help out students who have a hard time getting books. 

"It's great to see a student like him doing this for our students who they don't have access to books. The only time they get to go to the library is when they come here and ask in our school," Lebron=Bravo stated. 

Hartman has an important lesson for his peers. 

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"My message is to follow your passion and to get involved in your community. Even if it's just small actions, doing something small for someone can make such a big impact," he said. 

Hartman has given away more than 10,000 books and hopes fellow students will follow his example of helping others. Hartman collects books from the community and money that he raises off social media.