The Ebony Pages Book Club located, in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, annually donates new books to an elementary and/or middle school in Wake/Durham or surrounding counties. The process of this service project began as most do with a discussion about how we could use our resources to make someone else's life better.
We developed the following plan:
Members choose the school to which we make the donation. The first year of this project, we donated the books to the school where two of our members were teachers. Other years, members have suggested schools where their children or grandchildren attended or where they had some type of affiliation.
The school's librarian or contact gives us a list of titles.
Each member is asked to select one or two books (depending on how much money the member wants to spend).
Each member provides the title of her book to the coordinator for the project. This information is helpful so as to prevent the purchase of several copies of the same book.
Each member brings her selection(s) to the designated meeting.
After this meeting, the coordinator schedules a time to present the books to the Librarian or contact at the school.
This is a relatively low maintenance community service activity which will provide many days of happy reading to hundreds of children. See the schools that we have supported below.
2021 - No donation due to the Corona Virus pandemic.
2020 - No donation due to the Corona Virus pandemic.
2019 - Wake Medical Center Children's Hospital in Raleigh
2018 - Ronald McDonald House in Durham
2017 - Cooper Elementary in Clayton
2015 - Kiddie Academy
2014 - Oak Grove Elementary in Durham
2012 - UNC Pediatric Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill
2011 - Conn Elementary in Raleigh
2010 - Dillard Drive Elementary in Cary
2009 - Washington Elementary in Raleigh
2008 - Research Triangle Charter Academy in Durham
2007 - Quality Education Institute and Oak Grove Elementary in Durham
2006 - Fox Road Elementary in Raleigh
2005 - Cooper Elementary in Clayton
2004 - SPARC Academy in Raleigh
2003 - Fred Olds Elementary in Raleigh
2002 - Eastway Elementary in Durham
2001 - Zebulon Elementary and Middle Schools in Zebulon
In 2006, a member of Ebony Pages suggested that we do a service project with the Central Children's Home in Oxford, NC. We unanimously agreed to support the Central Childrens Home. The Central Children’s Home of North Carolina, Inc., a historically black residential childcare facility for children who are dependent, neglected, or abused, has been in operation for more than a century. They are licensed to serve a capacity of 52 children and provide 5 cottages in which the children live with the assistance of houseparents.
That first year we visited, we took snacks, provided music and games and spent a couple of hours with the children. We delivered gifts from a wish list that was provided by the children themselves. The children were so open to our visit and genuinely seemed to enjoy spending time with us. We decided then that we would continue our relationship with this facility. We now take the children in our lives so they can spend some time with them as well.
From 2006-2008, we visited during the Christmas holidays. We then heard the children say that they get a lot of visits each year during the Christmas season, but not during the rest of the year. We decided then that we would try something different the next year. In 2009, we invited the children to share in our Anniversary/Family Day celebration in September. Even though we had overcast weather that day, we enjoyed our time with them and more than that, they enjoyed their time with us. Instead of providing them with Christmas gifts, we helped with their back to school supplies.
Ebony Pages Book Club has participated in many relief efforts in response to events that have happened in our community, country, and around the world.
Sending supplies to Haiti
After seeing the devastation left by the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Ebony Pages Book Club decided to do something as a group to help. We decided to use our Brother's meeting as a time to also work on this project. We asked that all visitors who attended the meeting bring toiletries to donate. After the meeting, we boxed up the donations and gave them to our member who was heading up the project. They were then sent to Haiti along with other community donations.
Christian Women's Fellowship Eyeglasses drive
In 2014 the Disciples Women’s Ministries presented the Quadrennial Assembly theme “I See You”. The service project collected and donated used eyeglasses to OneSight. These glasses were used to improve lives all over the world. Ebony Pages Book Club donated 50 pairs. That year, because of an over abundance of donations, OneSight transitioned to dispensing 100% new eye wear to every patient!
Housing for New Hope
Ebony Pages Book Club partnered with Housing for New Hope (HNH) (www.housingfornewhope.org) in providing support for individuals with disabling conditions and who have experienced chronic homelessness in Durham County. The Ebony Pages sisters packed the baskets with love by filling each basket with essential toiletry and household items spreading a ray of hope to the HNH community.
Women's Prison Toiletries Donation
Ebony Pages Book Club collected toiletries (soap, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant) for the Women’s Prison in Raleigh, NC. Dorlene was the lead person on this community mission. Dorlene was given a name to contact to coordinate the delivery of the toiletries. The women don’t always have access to these things and our donation was much appreciated.
Duke Women's Cancer Center in Durham
Ebony Pages Book Club bags it up for Duke patients! What a great way to celebrate 19 years of Sisterhood, Friendship and Love by sharing love with the Duke Cancer Patients through the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program. This service project was dear to our hearts because some of our family members and friends were receiving treatments and we recognized a need to provide care packages. The bags prepared with love consisted of items such as unscented lotions, crossword puzzles, adult coloring book, coloring pencils, journals, hand sanitizer, neck pillows, blanket, etc. that would allow the patients to relax during their treatments. We are grateful to the staff of Duke Cancer Patient Support Program for allowing us to partner with them in providing hope to those they so lovingly serve and support.
Other community service projects that we have participated in over the years include:
Sponsoring a family at Christmas
Ebony Pages contacted Social Services to be assigned a family to support at Christmas. We were assigned a family of a mother and her two teenaged children. We provided them with a hearty Christmas meal and items off their clothing wish list. Several members went to the house to present the items to the family and share with them in the Holiday spirit.
Supporting a mother and newborn at Christmas
One year at Christmas, we were presented an opportunity to work with a young mother and her new baby. This young lady had gotten pregnant while in college. She was not able to continue in college and had no other place to live, so she was living in an area home for young ladies such as herself. We were able to present her and the baby with items that they needed. The young lady told us that this was the best Christmas that she had ever had. One of our members continued to stay in contact with the young lady for several months afterward.
Women's Prison Book Project
Through our website, we were contacted by the Women's Prison Book Project. They provide books to women in prison. They specifically reached out to us because they needed books written by African-American authors. They said that there was a need for those books in their program. Our members were able to pull together a large collection to send to them. The only stipulation was that the books had to be paperbacks. If you are interested in helping this worthwhile project, please contact:
Women's Prison Book Project
C/O Arise Bookstore
2441 Lyndale Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Wrapping books at Barnes & Noble
We were made aware that clubs and organizations were allowed to participate in fundraising efforts by wrapping books at Barnes & Noble bookstores. This is a simple activity that allows us to raise money to support our community service projects. Barnes & Noble supplies the paper, tape, scissors, ribbons, etc. All Barnes & Noble customers can have their purchases wrapped for free. They are not required to pay and you, as the volunteer, are not allowed to ask for donations or ask folks to have their books wrapped. You are allowed to have a sign and/or pamphlet to explain what your organization does. Most folks will leave a small donation for the wrapping service. It's a way for us to present ourselves and promote literacy in our community.
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