Friday, September 5, 2014

Give A Child Hope Through the Gift of Reading and Learning

Giving the gift of reading
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re living in a rural town. Maybe you’re down on your luck between jobs, or maybe you’ve never had more than the proverbial 2 cents to rub together.  Perhaps you’re a child or teen gifted with the promise of a bright mind but limited opportunities to imagine life beyond the classroom. Or maybe you’re trying to escape impoverished situations at home and need information to put a plan together.

While it might seem obvious to many that for someone in such a situation, the library or community center would be a good place to escape, to learn, to dream bigger dreams and to just cling to hope, there’s just one problem.

There isn’t one.Welcome to the reality of life in the Town of Webb, MS., But in the bleakness of this reality, a spark of hope is being fanned into a great light. We have a vision of a Community Resource Center and Library for the town – a place of hope and possibility for people in this town and in the surrounding towns. It’s a vision that is shared by many – we’ve already collected over 10,000 books, art supplies, and other educational materials to be used in the community resource enrichment center. But there’s still a long road ahead. Will you be the one who carries the light of this vision to others in our community?

We need your help.  Specifically, we still need donations of art talents, time and contracting skills
to help us get the building prepared for the community center. You’ve probably heard over recent years about all of the cuts in state and federal funding for various things – including education. 

In small towns like Webb, the generosity of people like you makes a huge difference in the resources available for families and children. What can your gift accomplish?  By giving a child the gift of reading books that spark their interests, we’re opening up the doors of higher learning and giving them the opportunity to see the world through books and our other educational resource materials.

What can you do? We’re asking church, civic and school organizations – any individual or group who would like to make a difference - to join Gathering of Hearts in this effort. It all comes down to this.  If we hope to end the heartache of poverty in towns like ours in America, we must start with finding a way to give our youth – and all of us – the resources we need.

What is a Community Resource Center? 
Home of the new Community Resource Center in Webb, MS
The Community Resource Center is a place where students can spend time after school. They can get tutoring to help support them academically.  They’ll have opportunity to learn music, drama, the visual arts and performing arts.  We’ll be training members of the community – like you, if you’re interested – to serve our youth as mentors, helping them to discover the gifts of learning and culture that are surrounding them. 

As you know, the Mississippi Delta is the home of the blues. We’re a culture rich with art, music and some of the world’s finest blues festivals.  But the way to keep that culture alive is to bring it to our children, giving them the hope they need to become strong contributing members of our society as adults. We believe in our children and our families. Do you? 

Can we count on you or your organization to join us through Gathering of Hearts?There are opportunities for every kind of involvement, whether by donating money, time or resources.  Please contact us to find an opportunity to help that is right for you. As Mahatma Gandhi said “ Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

We all want to see a world that empowers all children to enjoy the adventure of learning, academically and through cultural experiences. If you would like to help us help our community’s children, please contact Gathering of Hearts at 504.858.4658 or you can email Antoinette Harrell at

Gathering of Heart wishes to thank the many supporters who donated funds, books, educational material or perhaps you donated your time and effort to this cause. You kindness and generosity can never be forgotten.