TORRINGTON — Ophthalmologist Dr. Ronald Berger, who retired from Community Health & Wellness Center, and his grandchildren Sacha and Adele Fortier, collected and donated more than 500 gently used children’s books for the center’s patients to take home.
Dr. Berger collected the books over the period of a few weeks. They were donated by his neighbors in Torrington’s Lakeridge condominium community.
When his grandchildren came to visit from their home in Paris, France, Sacha, 11, and Adele, 9, were responsible for “quality control.” They reviewed every book to be sure it was in excellent condition inside and out, and then packed them in bags for delivery to CHWC.
“We have every kind of book,” said Sacha, who is interested in writing nonfiction.
Adele, who would like to write fiction, said, “We have fairytales, biographies, pop-up books, books in Spanish, and many other types of books.”
Dr. Berger believes the collection effort was successful because the parents, whose children had outgrown the books, didn’t quite know what to do with them.
“There is an emotional attachment to the books,” he said. “But when the kids left home the parents needed the room they were taking up. They knew they were being donated to a good cause at Community Health & Wellness so they could feel good about letting them go.”
The books are now on display in CHWC’s lobby for patients to peruse.