Charlotte’s Billy Graham Library collecting school supplies
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Saturday, Aug. 02, 2014

Charlotte’s Billy Graham Library collecting school supplies

  • Learn more:

    • For information about the Billy Graham Library, including upcoming events, visit www.billygrahamlibrary.org. The library, at 4330 Westmont Drive, is open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

    • Information about Jackson Park Ministries is available at www.jacksonpark.org.

A yellow school bus will be parked outside the Billy Graham Library this week, and library staff hope that by Aug. 9 it will be filled with school supplies.

The bus marks the library’s first Stuff the Bus event and one of its biggest forays into local community service.

“The idea behind this is we are right here in Charlotte, and we wanted to be able to engage with our community and help the children in our own area,” said Sonya Johnson, promotions manager for the library.

The library regularly hosts events for the community, including book signings, children’s programs and events for veterans. It has served as a drop-off site for a school-supply collection drive, but it has not held its own event for the community.

The yellow school bus is on loan from West Cabarrus Church, which one of the library’s staff members attends.

The library will hang banners on the bus about the event, and people who visit the library can drop off school supplies to volunteers and staff members who will be manning the bus.

Johnson said the supplies would be brought inside because some items, such as crayons and glue sticks, could melt.

The idea for Stuff the Bus came as library staffers were thinking about their own children going back to school.

“We know there are so many families now who are on a tight budget, and they just need a little extra help,” Johnson said. “We want children to know that people care.

“What better way to communicate love and community and give back to those around use by sharing the love of Christ?”

Schools often require students to provide a long list of school supplies that can cost more than $50 for older students.

All of the school supplies collected in Stuff the Bus will be donated to Jackson Park Ministries, a nonprofit organization based in west Charlotte that works with families in need.

Johnson said library staff also hopes that Stuff the Bus connects more people in the community with the library.

“We want people to know the Billy Graham Library is in Charlotte, and we want people to visit us,” Johnson said. “We want to share the love of Christ with people, and we want them to come on our property and experience the love of Christ in everything we do.”

All visitors are invited to bring new school supplies to the Billy Graham Library’s Stuff the Bus events, which runs through Aug. 9. Entry to the library is free and open to the public.

The library seeking donations of new pencils, pens, crayons, highlighters, erasers, loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, composition books, folders, three-ring binders, calculators, rulers, compasses, backpacks, lunch boxes, dividers, pencil boxes, tissues, hand sanitizer, plastic zip bags, glue sticks or bottles, 3.5 index cards and graph paper.

Marty Minchin is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email her at martyminchin@gmail.com.

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