Staten Island OutLOUD presents some special Big Read event for young readers. On Saturday afternoon Dec 1, we hosted a cross-cultural event that welcomed Staten Island youth and kids who were injured in war in Croatia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. They came to Staten Island through Global Medical Relief Fund, an Island-based organization that helps kids injured in war by providing them with major medical services such as reconstructive surgery and custom-made prosthetics. We combined a reading from The Things They Carried with excerpts from I’ll Stand By You, by our neighbor Elissa Montanti, who founded Global Medical Relief Fund; this book tells the story of that organization’s origin and growth. The kids all enjoyed each other so much, and we loved getting everyone together, reading together and making new friends.