Dave Gasner does more than ensure fast delivery of letters and packages.

He delivers on a promise to promote “the gift of reading,” by donating books to the summer EXCEL program every year.

The owner of the UPS store on Jackson Street since 1998, Gasner donates between 250-500 books each year. In 2018, along with customer donations, his personal donations and corporate matching, he was able to donate $800 worth of books.

“Because of (Dave’s) continued donations, we were able to give each reading student two books this year instead of one,” Cathy Gargano, the media specialist at Stoughton High School wrote in an email to the Hub.

The goal of the distribution is to assist families in building their home libraries, Gargano said.

A former band teacher and grandfather to four – all under the age of 10 – Gasner said he knows the importance of reading and literature.

“I see how much reading impacts (my grandchildren) and their desire for it,” he said. “It’s really impressive. I want kids to read – I didn’t and maybe that is why I want them to,”

His charity work goes beyond Stoughton, and beyond books. He frequently donates to the Stoughton Sports Booster helping school sports like soccer and baseball; DECA, a non profit organization that prepares students for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management; Relay for Life and Oregon School District elementaries.

“It’s also important to give back to the community,” he said. “I was just raised that way. My dad instilled that in me.”

Gasner donates the books through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, which started in 2008. He keeps donation boxes in his store, and takes joy in watching customers put change, and even $20 bills, in them.

“I just want to thank the community for making donations to the program,” he said. “I hope they continue to do so, so we can keep supporting the kids with books.”

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.krumme@wcinet.com.