The K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune will receive as many books for kids that are sick or in recovery as Barnes & Noble in Brick can give them. Here's how you can help.

The manager of the Barnes & Noble in Brick Plaza, Mike Benci, continues to find ways to connect with the community. And Tom Barreto, a barber from Point Pleasant, is doing his part. He is a shining role model about how we can all do just a little more for kids in need.

The gift of reading is always a special one, and children who are hospitalized could really use some new books to call their own, especially around the holidays. You can only imagine the struggle and stress on a child who is fighting to survive or has had surgery and can't be at home for Christmas. The escape of reading a good book is a wonderful thing.

Barnes & Noble, 44 Brick Plaza in Brick, is holding its annual Holiday Book Drive from now until Dec. 12th. You can stop in and buy a book to donate as a gift that will go to a child hospitalized at Hackensack Meridian Health's Jersey Shore University Medical Center in the K. Hovnanian Children's wing.

So how does Tom Barreto, a barber at Ocean Road Barbershop in Point Pleasant, fit in? He has taken it upon himself, for the second year in a row, to collect money for books for the kids. And last year he ended up with $1,357 dollars from generous customers. He took that money straight to the Brick Barnes & Noble and thoughtfully selected and purchased all of the books that he thought kids would most appreciate, (last year the books went to the Brick P.A.L.to give to kids.)

Tom is hoping to beat that number this year. So if you need a hair cut or are just passing by the Ocean Road Barbershop, 654 Ocean Road, there is a jar by his station, so feel free to stop in and add a couple of bucks to his collection until Dec. 14th. Call 848-232-3504 if you'd like to book a haircut with Tom or just arrange to get him some money for the kids' books.

If you would like to raise some money through your business and then shop for books at Barnes & Noble in Brick for kids in the hospital, contact Mike Benci, the manager at the Brick Barnes & Noble, at 732-255-6600.

Or connect with Brick B&N on Instagram

Last year, Barnes & Noble customers and booksellers provided more than 1.4 million books to over 600 charitable organizations that provide services to people in need across the country.

Barnes & Noble is the largest retail bookseller in the United States and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. There are over 600 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, as well as the NOOK Digital business and, of course, their online bookstore.

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