Taylor Memorial UMC in Chalkville recently had to make an important decision. Their collection of 576 books donated to the Bazillion Book Drive needed a home. After poring over requests provided by the Bazillion Book Drive team, church member Jo Jones, one of the leaders of the church's efforts, delivered them to Robinson Elementary School in Birmingham. "Our book drive lasted four weeks," she said. "About midway through we shared a challenge from Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett in our Sunday bulletins."
Encouraged by their pastor, Rev. Michael Carver, church members met the challenge with great enthusiasm. Nicholas and Sophie Weis, two elementary aged children, donated $22.75 earned from their lemonade stand. Many others donated more cash, and Jenny Murphy, a public school teacher, was able to purchase books from Scholastic Books at a discount.
Robinson Elementary School was chosen as their recipient because the ratio of books to students was only 2:1. The location was important, and they made a great connection with librarian Adriane Lewis Suggs. Connections are a big part of the Bazillion Book Drive—we hope local churches use these connections to start or expand Ministry with the Poor.
The Bazillion Book Drive will be an ongoing project of the Annual Conference. Many schools, libraries, and agencies serving children living below the poverty line have requested books, and some of the requests include specific titles. If you or a group from your church would like to fulfill one of these requests, contact Rev. Sally Allocca or Lyn Cosby.