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Mom says daughter’s love of books keeps her memory alive

It has been nearly 13 years since Robin Barbee lost her daughter in a car accident. But Barbee and her family did not let that incident close the chapter on Crystal’s story.

The 11th Annual Crystal’s Books of Blessings will wrap up on Oct. 4, one day shy of what would have been Crystal’s 34th birthday.

Crystal Barbee

“We were just trying to find a way to do something in Crystal’s memory and to continue some type of outreach,” Robin Barbee said.

Crystal loved going to bookstores.

“She could go in a bookstore and just browse for hours,” Barbee said.

In honor of her love of reading and helping others, Crystal’s Books of Blessings began. In 10 years, 18,000 books have been donated to Stanly County’s schools, The Butterfly House Child Advocacy Center, Atrium Health-Stanly, Esther House, the Pregnancy Resource Center, Bridge to Recovery and other organizations.

“We’ve been really fortunate for a lot of people have given cash donations so we can go out and buy new books,” Barbee said.

The Butterfly House and the hospital receive new books. However, used books have been put to use in a book stand in the emergency room at Atrium, Barbee said.

Donations of new and gently used books and Bibles will be accepted through Oct. 4 at Images Salon in Albemarle, Tim Marburger Honda of Albemarle and Nutrien Ag Solutions (formerly Crop Production Services) in Millingport. Toddler to adult books are needed, including new coloring books, journals and Bibles, as well as books for media centers and classrooms.

“I think that anyone who has lost someone wants to find a way to keep them remembered,” Barbee said. “This was just a way of us continuing something in her name. She loved reading and helping others. She was just a good person that is missed every day.”