One of our co-founders, Emily Whitten, has a great opportunity for you, readers, to help support a book-based ministry this summer! Read on for her project and a personal note about her experience with this program.
Summer Books for Refugees
Summer reading is as American as apple pie…and this summer, Servant Group International (SGI) is partnering with Nashville’s local government to introduce 50-60 refugee children to that American tradition.
In this pilot program for SGI, kids in the program will be introduced to at least 4 classic picture books–and given a copy to keep of each of them. Children involved range from preschool age to 6th grade and many come from war torn areas like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The majority have very few possessions, and many don’t have a way to travel to a local library–even if their parents know it exists.
This month, you can help SGI 1) introduce refugee children to American culture as well as 2) encourage their English reading skills. The books will be given away at a free lunch program in which one book will be acted out each week for the kids. Just click below to put a book into the hands of a hurting family.
CLICK HERE to purchase a summer reading book for a refugee child.
Note: amazon may ask you for an address. If so, use this one: Servant Group International 506 TANKSLEY AVE, NASHVILLE, TN, 37211-2300.
To learn more about Servant Group International, see their website (https://servantgroup.org/) or their Facebook page. To find out what books SGI will be giving away this summer to refugee families, go to their Amazon.com wishlist.
A Personal Testimony
My daughters, now 12 and 10, both volunteered with me at Servant Group this past spring. We attended a three week program called Walk and Talk in the Park. The first week we walked with two English-learners–one from Iraq and one from Afghanistan. The women told us about their childhood, their brothers and sisters still in their home country. We learned about their favorite foods and what makes American culture hard for them (for instance, not having a car to drive!).
The second and third weeks, my daughters and I played with the children of the women at the event. We put together a rousing game of soccer on the spur of the moment. Some of the kids were shy and quiet while others loud and full of energy, and it was great to see all their different personalities in action. The second week, we brought a kite for the little ones, and their eyes get as big as quarters as out bright red and yellow kite flew up behind them as they ran. So many giggles and shouts for joy!
What struck me most in each of these weeks was just how normal these children were. They reminded me so much of my Sunday School class full of American kids. And yet they have challenges that American kids don’t–challenges like learning a new language and new culture.
I’m very grateful SGI exists to try to ease the transition of these refugee families. I’ve personally seen lives changed through their work. I hope you’ll join me in supporting their work this summer as we put classic books into the hands of needy kids.
Note: Redeemed Reader is working on a special project we’ll unveil later this week–as an organization, we will be donating a tenth of the proceeds to Servant Group’s project this summer! We’re excited to help partner with them.