Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Passing on a Passion for Reading

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 12:36 PM
HAC_Book_Donation-16.jpgPatrik Barroso-Marta (left) and his younger brother Deandre donated three boxes full of children’s books to HAC’s library last month. 

“I love reading,” 10-year-old Deandre Barroso said proudly. “It feels like I’m going to a different dimension every time I read.”

Barroso, a fourth grader at Barnstable United Elementary School, made the statement at the end of April when he passed on a little of that magic to HAC clients by donating three boxes full of used children’s books to the agency’s free library.

“Some of them are mine,” his older brother Patrik, a freshman at Cape Cod Academy, chimed in.

Accompanying them was their guardian Kathleen O’Donoghue who said the two were compelled to donate the books after learning about the need through a HACbeat story shared on HAC’s Facebook page. Anyone who walks through  HAC's doors is welcome to take as many books as they want.

The library, which was created by CEO Rick Presbrey shortly after HAC moved to its current location in 1998, relies on donations of books for children and adults. Over the years, Presbrey said, “we’ve given kids thousands of books. They are better than toys.”

To donate to the free library simply drop off books, Monday through Friday, at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis, from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Tags: HAC Library, Books, donations

Books Needed for HAC's Free Library

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 @ 05:04 PM


When HAC first moved into its offices on West Main Street in 1998, CEO Rick Presbrey’s goal was to make the reception area as inviting as possible.

Initially, staff put out toys before realizing that they would easily break, get dirty and have to be replaced. So instead, Presbrey created a library, a place where men, women and children could take a book or more to bring home.

“We decided the book thing made a lot more sense,” Presbrey said. “Our goal as an agency is to be a ‘Yes agency’ that wishes not to be judgmental and creates a welcoming place for people who come here for help.”

The library is just one example of that, a shelf stacked with books for those of all ages. “The miracle of it all is we’ve had books donated continuously through the years,” Presbrey said. “When we’re a little short people always respond.”

And so HAC is asking for people to donate once again as they have in the past. The library is in need of used books for children and adults. They can be dropped off Monday through Friday at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis, from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Tags: Philanthropy, HAC Library, Books, donations

Donate a Book to HAC

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 11:08 AM

DSC 8449 resized 600

At the end of March, a mother and her 19-month-old son walked into HAC’s office at 460 Main Street. Even before they reached the receptionist’s desk, the pair found themselves engrossed in a stack of books in HAC’s free library that greets visitors in the foyer.

With her child by her side, the mom grabbed five books – two featuring SpongeBob, one of Curious George, another of My Little Pony and the last titled “The Little Penguin” – that she would later bring home for her son and two other children to devour.

It was a simple scene that showed how popular HAC’s library, created by CEO Rick Presbrey in the late 90’s, has become. “It has been such a hit which is why we are often out of books,” said office manager Lynne Perry. “We can’t keep books on the shelves so we’re always in need of books for children and adults.”

Those wanting to make a donation to HAC’s free library can do so by dropping off used books at our main office at 460 West Main Street in Hyannis, Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 4:30 pm. While any book donations are welcome, HAC is currently in need of those geared towards adults.

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the
world a door opens to allow in more light.

Vera Nazarian


Tags: HAC, Reading, Rick Presbrey, HAC Library, Books, Lynne Perry

Inspiring a Love of Reading Through Book Donation

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 @ 11:46 AM
Book Donation Photo resized 600Olivia Castonguay (from left), Sinead Garvey and Sydney Castonguay showcase just a few of the children's books they donated to HAC's free library yesterday.

One day Holyoke’s Sydney Castonguay wants to become a teacher. This week she gave her first unofficial lesson to children on Cape Cod when she donated close to 200 books to HAC’s free library on West Main Street in Hyannis.

“Education is so valuable,” 18-year-old Sydney said, imparting her first lesson: “You can’t go anywhere in life if you can’t read.”

So Sydney along with her 14-year-old sister Olivia, a ninth grader at West Springfield High School, and her sister’s classmate Sinead Garvey, 14, spent yesterday morning delivering children’s books to HAC in an effort to inspire those younger than them to read.

HAC’s library, which was opened in the late 1990’s, is located in the reception area at 460 West Main Street, offering free books for children and adults who visit the office. Donations come from staff, bookstores, schools, libraries and those like Sydney.

About three weeks ago Sydney, whose family has a home in West Dennis, started collecting books from friends and family members and encouraging strangers to donate books in boxes left at the South Dennis Public Library and West Dennis Public Library.

“I live and work on Cape Cod in the summer and was looking for a place that takes donations of books and gives them to people that need them and found you,” Sydney said on why she elected to donate them to HAC.

Sydney, who will start her freshman year at Westfield State University next month, said she was excited to give back to the Cape community in this way. “Just knowing there are kids that need books and there are people like myself and others that have them to give them,” she said, was her motivation for her to undertake the book drive.

Tags: HAC, Reading, HAC Library, Books, Sydney Castonguay, Olivia Castonguay, Sinead Garvey