Meagan Warren's business card reads "CEO and founder."

Meagan Warren's business card reads "CEO and founder."

The 11-year-old works every day on her nonprofit organization, Books for Bedtime, putting in many hours each week.

Inside her Bexley home, she counts, sorts, stacks and sometimes even reads some of the hundreds of books she receives through donations to her fledgling organization.

But the best part, she said, is being able to give them away.

On April 7, when she visited Kae Avenue Elementary School to give away more than 500 gently used books to students at the school, she was all smiles.

The reward was twofold, said Principal Alissa Putnam. Not only did every child receive a book, each also was given a real-life lesson in philanthropy from an entrepreneur who is the same age as some of those on the receiving end of her generosity.

"I think their eyes were opened, that someone their age could do something this great for their community," said Putnam.

Brittany Brill, a third-grade teacher at Kae Avenue, said her students were even a bit confused at first, unable to fathom such a young student managing such a large operation.

"They finally realized that they could make a difference in their world, too," said Brill. "Some were talking about helping grandparents and other family members, maybe around the house or even offering to mow the lawn."

Meagan knows all too well that you have to start small, then grow.

"I just wanted to make a difference," she said, amid books she was collecting and sorting in her home last month. "I know kids do things for other countries, but I feel before we help other countries, we should help fix things in our own first. Then we can help others by helping ourselves first."

Meagan first got the idea for Books for Bedtime last summer after being inspired by another young philanthropist's story. While visiting her grandparents in Michigan, she came up with the idea along with the name of the organization while reading a book of her own before bedtime.

By August, she had the nonprofit established and registered, and she began collecting books soon afterward.

Just seven months later, the Bexley sixth-grader has collected more than 3,000 books, which she distributes to children in area schools and homeless shelters. She rotates a donation box among locations and events around Bexley, and she accepts books in the mail -- or on her doorstep, on occasion.

"I am so proud that on top of schoolwork and an online Latin class, she is in the basement just about every day, sorting and stamping, organizing and reorganizing and counting," said Meagan's mom, Shannon Warren. "I'm so proud that she is sticking with it and wants it to get even bigger and bigger."

Meagan hand-delivers all of her donated books and said her reward is the smiles on children's faces. She said nothing's better than to hand out books, only to have kids sit down and immediately begin turning the pages.

"Books have impacted my life so greatly that I want to share," she said.

She gives a similar speech to the children every time she makes a donation, speaking to the freedom and imagination they inspire.

"Books can take you to far-away places," Meagan said. "They can take you almost anywhere."

She takes her job as CEO seriously. Aside from the daily task of organizing her books, she has helped establish a presence on social media (which Mom monitors), compose handouts, design a logo and print T-shirts. She also helps to decide where the books will be donated and when.

"The best thing is knowing that the books aren't going in the trash," said Meagan, smiling. "The best thing is knowing they are being used again."

For more information on Books for Bedtime, or to donate or request donations, visit the organization's Facebook or Instagram pages, or e-mail Meagan at books4bedtime@yahoo. com.