Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Our Resource Center: The Most Bang for your Book

By Sarah Winston, Operations Director

Are you familiar with Eric Carle’s beloved children’s book The Very Hungary Caterpillar?  Through simple text and eye-popping artwork, Carle tells the story of a caterpillar that eats its way through a smorgasbord of goodies, builds a cocoon, takes a nap, and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.  We are excited to announce that our Resource Center is going through a metamorphosis of its own.  Over the past few years your donations have helped meet a variety of diverse needs in the neighborhood, and we thank you for your generosity and support.  Through observing needs in the community and laying the groundwork to open a thrift store in the coming months, we realized it’s time for the Resource Center to narrow its focus to a few very specific needs, and will no longer accept donations of clothing or housewares.  During this summer of transformation, we will shut things down, clean things out, and emerge colorfully as the new, improved Resource Center.  We don’t want to spoil the surprise just yet—we will unveil the new vision for the Resource Center this fall.

One thing we can let you in on now, though, leads us back to our caterpillar friend—BOOKS!   Mission Adelante is launching a literacy program through our Resource Center.

A 20-year study through the University of Nevada found that children with large home libraries attain an average of 2 more years of education than kids without books at home.   Books in the home are as strong of a predictor of academic success as parents’ level of education and income level.  (See links below for further reading).   Do you want to help us get books into the hands of every kid in our community?  Here are some things you can do now, while were still in the “cocoon” phase of the Resource Center transition.

Help us organize the shelves:  The building blocks for a well-organized, easily-accessible system are uniform containers that stack well in our shelves to separate books by grade level.  Here’s a link to the containers we've chosen.  Would you consider purchasing one or two?

2.   Collect Books:  Gather current and popular children’s titles from your family, friends, community group, or church; sort them by grade level (K-1, 2-3, 4-5 are preferred); and contact Molly at  or 913-281-6274 x 5 to schedule a time to drop them off.  It’s that easy!  Please bear in mind that we only have the capacity right now to distribute books for elementary-aged kids, and books with minority characters are a bonus.  We are not able to accept reference books or adult books.

We hope that putting books in our kids’ hands will make them hungry for more.  Feeding their minds with great books will help them realize all of the beautiful, colorful potential God put in them!

For further reading about the effects of book ownership:

In Other News:

  • We are excited to say that renovations to the house next door to our building are underway!  Mission Adelante purchased the home completely stripped to the studs, and Christ Community Church is partnering with us to rehab it into a flexible residential space.  More details are coming soon.
Current Needs:

  • Leaders in Training, our after-school leadership development and tutoring program, is getting excited about technology!  We are currently looking for tablets that are in new, or very good condition to be used for learning activities during the 2014-2015 school year. If you have one you would like to donate please contact Kristen Maxwell at or Megan McDermott at

  • Looking for a fun way to make a big impact in the fall? Want to pour into the future leaders of our community?   Our relational and fun after-school and character development program, Leaders in Training, is currently looking for volunteers.   Contact Megan at if you are interested!

  • If many hands make light work, we could use more hands to help with the house rehab--no construction experience necessary!  There will be weekday and weekend opportunities for everything from swinging hammers to sweeping debris.  Please contact Sarah at if you want to join in.

  • Additionally, we are in need of residential appliances that are in good working order for the house rehab.  Please contact Sarah at if you would like to donate an electric range/oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, washer, or electric dryer.

Important Dates:
  • Get-acquainted Days: Thursdays, July 10 & 17 (Latino)/Tuesday, July 15 (Bhutanese) 6:30-8:30  Have you wondered what all goes on around here on a typical evening of programming?  Here's your opportunity to come and see for yourself!  Come on up to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102.

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