When the Ministry with the Poor Operational Team was in the visioning process for the Bazillion Book Drive, they hoped that connections would be made and new ministries started or strengthened through new contacts. Little did they know that existing contacts would play just as big a part in its success.
"A member of Canterbury has been tutoring with the STAIR program at Avondale United Methodist Church," writes Rachel Estes, Canterbury's Director of Missions and Outreach. "Intrigued with access to books and literacy aids, Susan Stutts asked if she could do a book drive for Avondale Elementary School. Little did she know that Marna Bellande, also a Canterbury member, had been the long-time librarian at Avondale Elementary and was now at Putnam Middle School. Connecting Susan and Marna with the current Avondale librarian was only more exciting after Canterbury was invited to participate in the Conference's Bazillion Book Drive! This was truly one of those amazing times where the energy of the laity, the structure of the conference, the amazing work in the community and the children in our 'village' were connected through the hearts and hands of the church through books! Massive quantities of books were delivered from Canterbury to Avondale schools in collaboration with the Bazillion Book Drive! One more great note to this story is that outside of Avondale United Methodist Church, right down the hill from Avondale Elementary, is a Free Little Library built and installed by Lilly Sharp, a Gold Award recipient through Girl Scouts. Area children are encouraged to read and enjoy their books and then pass them along to the little free library when they come pick out another book to take home!"
Click here to read about free little libraries, and let us know if you're inspired to build one and put it near your church.