A local artist has started an organization to help deliver books to sick children across the state.

Brighton’s Michael Monroe is known nationally for his award-winning wildlife paintings, prints, and children’s book illustrations. Last week, he said he officially opened the non-profit Monroe Children’s Book Foundation. The artist, who has been donating books to hospitals for near a quarter-century already, said the idea came to him after dropping off a couple hundred books at Beaumont last December. Someone from the hospital posted the deed on Facebook, and then Monroe began to get inundated with calls from other hospitals and foster care facilities. To keep up with demand, he began the process of forming his Foundation.

Monroe said he is going to concentrate on Michigan hospitals, first, a new one each month, and see where it goes from there. All the books are pre-approved by the hospitals to help make certain that they don’t send any wrong messages and are upbeat to help lift spirits. As an example, he shared that there are 52 children at Beaumont in long-term care for cancer, and each time they go through chemotherapy, they get a new book. He said all the work is worth it to put smiles on faces, and he is pushing hard to get more books out to the hospitals soon.

Anybody wishing to donate to the Foundation can do so through the link below. (MK)