The books were donated from those known and unknown. Some came from The Temple’s annual used book sale. Some came from high school seniors at North Oldham High School eager to do their part and help. Some came as the result of Christ United Methodist Church’s Fall Into Reading event for FSH families last November. They’ve come from individuals, groups and families all over the state of Kentucky and beyond.
We’ve had these books for a while now, dreaming of the day when they could finally line the shelves of the reading room at FSH’s Stoddard Johnston Scholar House campus. Thanks to SJSH nearing completion enough to house the books, and the University of Louisville’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, produced by the Engage Lead Serve office, today became the day. The project isn’t quite done–there is still alphabetizing and organizing and straightening to do, but the hardest work has been graciously and joyfully completed at the hands of fourteen young women and their UofL staff advisor.
Halfway through their work today, one of the young women approached the FSH staff person on site and said, “Ma’am, what are you going to do with the books you don’t use?” In corner of the room was a growing pile of duplicate books and their fate had not been decided.
The staff member responded, “Well, I’m not sure. Why?”
“Well, I’m in the honors program at school,” the young woman said, “and every year we host a book sale in the Red Barn, and the profits go to a designated charity. This year, we’re giving all the money to Kosair’s ICU. I wondered if maybe I could take the extra books for our sale.”
The staff member thought for a minute and then decided, “Yes. Yes, you can have them. For that cause, you can have them.”
And the student smiled her thanks and replied, “Oh, and if we have any books leftover after our sale, we give them to Wayside.”
More than one Family Scholar House kiddo has known the care of Kosair Children’s Hospital. And more than one FSH family has known shelter at Wayside Christian Mission. Knowing these two important connections, the staff member shared them with the student.
“Oh!” the student shouted gleefully, “It’s like a circle!”
And yes. As a matter of fact it is a circle: a circle of donated books and selfless service and shelter in times of need and care in times of sickness and a way forward when there seems to not be any such way. This is what it means to work together–out of relationship–on behalf of those who need some help, that new opportunities might be made known and new ways of being might be lived into.