It took us until early February to finish counting and sorting the books from last November’s Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church book drive. Of the 15,000 books we have in inventory for our May program, approximately 5,000 came from Mt. Bethel parishioners. What a blessing for Athens children!

In total, we collected approximately 17,300 books during the book drive. Here’s a breakdown of how it all worked:

  • 100+ volunteers spent over 300 hours counting and sorting books, and we began distributing them to schools as counting was underway.
  • 5,200 books were placed in storage for our May Stop Summer Slide! elementary school program, which provides 12 books per student to every child attending an elementary school where 90% or more of students qualify for free/reduced lunch. These books will be distributed in May.
  • 1,800 books were distributed to Pre-K students at 5 schools in December and January.
  • 1,200 books were distributed to high school students in January and February.
  • 1,000 books were delivered to Clarke Middle School, for distribution this spring.
  • 700 Christian books were distributed to children through a program ministering to families in a high-poverty trailer park in Athens.
  • 400 puzzle and activity books were donated to 5 elementary schools for use in their mentor rooms.
  • 7,000 books (mostly for adults) were placed in storage for our next book sale, which will raise funds for our 2013 program.

Mt. Bethel provided more than just books!

  • Funds: Mt. Bethel group Couples in Christ and other individual donors contributed $359 to help us purchase additional books.
  • Supplies: Another group within Mt. Bethel, contributed 40 storage bins, which are always in short supply in our warehouse.
  • Volunteers: Dozens of Mt. Bethel parishioners worked many, many hours on this book drive. Glen produced a video that’s become an invaluable tool for informing others about our mission. Volunteers moved books from the office to the Pod each day. They showed up en masse for two intense days of sorting and packaging books to ship to Athens. A group of veterans loaded the truck for delivery to Athens, and Mt. Bethel staff delivered the books straight to our warehouse.

We are so grateful to Paster Randy Mickler, Mt. Bethel parishioners, and to Donna, Cliff, Johnna and Glen for making this book drive possible. Thank you all.