BUFFALO, N.Y. — Zeneta Everhart can hardly believe the response.

"Every time I look at it, it gets crazier and crazier," she said.

Hundreds of boxes filled with thousands of books donated from people all across the country filled the driveway of her friend Molly Hirschbeck Acton.

"This project is about letting people know that it's real. Racism is real,” she said.

Racism is something Everhart knows all too well. On May 14, her son, Zaire Goodman, was shot through the neck and back while he was working at Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. Miraculously, Goodman, now 21, survived the attack. He receives nursing and occupational therapy care and sees a therapist to talk through his experience. 

Ten Black people were killed and three wounded by the alleged shooter, who law enforcement officials say targeted the store because of the mostly Black population in the neighborhood.

Since then, his mother put out a call for learning more about racism, diversity and Black history through Zeneta and Zaire's Book Club. After putting out a wish list, the donations have poured in.

"It's time that we start talking about it, and it's time that we start educating our children about it," she said.

The books have been in the basement of Zeneta's friend. Now, they're getting a new home at Villa Maria College where Zeneta is on the board of trustees and she and Zaire both attended.

College president Dr. Matthew Giordano is one of Zeneta's former teachers.

"In the suburbs, in the city, I don't care where you are, we have a duty and a responsibility to combat racism and violence by providing a broad, inclusive, diverse and equitable education to all students," he said.

Volunteers from the Buffalo Peacemakers helped load the books into vehicles to take to Villa Maria. The books will be stored and sorted there before they're distributed to schools, community centers and whoever wants them. 

For Everhart, it's about teaching kids and adults alike.

"How can this country ever truly say it's moving in the right directions if we're not telling the story of the people who live here and who built this country?" she said.

Zaire's story — along with the other victims of the racist attack — is now part of that history.

"It's time for him to figure out why the universe allowed him to stay here," she said.