Kids Making a Difference: Maria Keller, Founder of Read Indeed

Read Indeed was founded in 2009 by book enthusiast Maria Keller when she was 8 years old. Since its inception, this youth-driven organization has collected and gifted more than 2.6 MILLION books to children in need. Today, the organization is overseen by college student Maria Keller, with her 14-year-old brother, Ryan, now at the helm—collecting books, orchestrating warehouse activities, and handling the distribution of books through Minnesota and beyond. We are thrilled to have this brother-sister duo as our Wonder Crate Kid of the month for January!

Maria and Ryan

What positive impact do you hope to have in the world? 

We are trying to provide books to children who have very few or no books in their homes. This will hopefully entice them to read, as reading is the fundamental skill kids need to succeed in school.

How are you doing it?

We collect new and gently used books from individuals, groups, companies and other organizations who donate books to Read Indeed. Then we distribute these books to teachers, nonprofit agencies, food shelves, churches and others who work directly with children in need.

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What skills have you used along the way?

Compassion: This is needed when understanding the needs of kids who have no books in their homes.

Persistence: Working for 10 years and gifting 2.8 million books to kids requires a lot of persistence to get things to happen.

Confidence: Maria’s original goal was to collect 1 million books for kids by the time she turned 18. A lot of people thought it was an impossible goal, but she met her goal 5 years ahead of schedule and more than doubled her goal by the time she turned 18.

Learn more about Maria and Ryan, watch their video and discover how you can make a difference at Wonder Crate. A portion of sales from our January box, Using Your Voice for Change: Malala Yousafzai and You! will support Read Indeed.

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