Thursday, August 9, 2018

Calling All Volunteers — Jean C. Gordon

No, I don't have a project I want your help with. Rather, I thought it would be fun to hear what kind of volunteer activities the Love Inspired Ladies and readers are involved in. For my self, I volunteer Tuesday and Saturday mornings at the Book Nook at our church (and other random hours sorting and shelving books). This week we are deep in getting ready for one of our semi-annual "Huge" Sales.

Our Book Nook was started by a lovely woman named Joy (who is a joy) to help the church with heating costs about ten years ago when fuel oil costs spiked. It sells donated books of all kinds, puzzles, DVDs, CDs, record albums, and VHS tapes for a $1 or less. (All Bibles are free.) 

But the Book Nook has evolved into so much more. It's a gathering place to share a cup of coffee and baked goods, as well as fellowship, with people in our community.  And a way to promote reading and literacy.

For instance we:
  • Invite teachers to come and pick out 20 free books for their classrooms
  • Give every child/student infant to college student one free book each time they visit
  • Encourage college students to check us out for books they may need for literature classes
  • Send books to service members serving overseas through our local VFW. (Sadly, we're discouraged from including romance books.)
My husband Mark and me at the
Friendship Festival last year

  • Have provided books to a prison ministry
  • Offer children's books free for the taking at our church's Evangelism Committee table at our community's annual Friendship Festival each August, along with cold water
  • Make free books available at our elementary school's book sales for children who don't have money to buy new books at the sales. So, they don't feel left out.
And last fall, one of the other volunteers took a box of books to hand out to trick or treaters along with a candy treat.

While the Book Nook can be hard work, it's also very rewarding, and our core group of volunteers, along with some of our regular patrons, have all become good friends.

Who's next?

5 comments:

  1. What an amazing outreach ministry, Jean, and a huge blessing for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a special ministry, Jean! Tears burned my eyes reading about the little children who couldn't afford new books getting one of your used donations! That touched me deeply!

    Our church has a library but it's filled with non-fiction. I need to tell our "librarian" about your wonderful ministry!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm part of the Healing Ministry at my church. Monthly we have a healing service, and at the conclusion of the service, we pray with folks individually who are sick or are in need of prayer. A few years ago, the Lord placed the needs of Children@Risk on my heart. A small group of us gather each Monday to pray for children around the world who are abused, trafficked, hungry, suffering from cancer or other diseases or are in harm's way. We include young adults who struggle to find their place in the world, who too often follow the world instead of the truth, those who are caught in addictions or suffer from mental illness and for those who might be considering suicide, which is claiming too many of our youth. Each time I hear of children who escape from captivity or who are caught in horrific situations, I know they're one of those precious Children@Risk for whom the Lord asked me to pray. The recent 11 children rescued in Taos County, New Mexico, were heavy on my heart. I know there are more children in need...and more prayer is needed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks amazing, Jean. There is a church in my neighborhood that has a huge book sale for a week every year. My husband used to spend months sorting through his books to donate to it, and then he'd go and buy others at the book sale to replace the ones he gave away. He finally decided maybe he needed to stay away on the actual sale days, but there were always such interesting, unique books.

    ReplyDelete