Summer Books for Refugees

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 ( or their Facebook page. To find out what books SGI will be giving away this summer to refugee families, go to their 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.

FREE Summer Reading Book List

More than 75 books for children and teens, all about islands, oceans, and more. Bonus: get a free hand-drawn reading tracker!

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.


  1. Meredith on June 6, 2018 at 6:49 am

    This sounds like a wonderful project! I just needed to know before I purchase a book: Do you purchase the book through amazon and it comes to you, or do they ship it to the ministry? When I proceeded to checkout, they asked about my address, and I’m unfamiliar with how the process of purchasing something of this nature works. Thank you.

    • Betsy on June 6, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Great question, Meredith! We’re checking on that and will report as soon as we know!

  2. Mandy Combs on June 6, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Here’s the message I’m getting from Amazon: “Some Amazon customers have allowed us to share their shipping addresses with third-party merchants so all orders from their Wish List and gift registries can be fulfilled. If you are purchasing a third-party item off the Wish List or gift registry of a customer who has not given us this permission, you may need to provide us with their shipping address yourself.”

    I think you need to share your shipping address with third-party merchants to allow the books to be shipped directly to you!

    I have an order waiting in my cart and hope to send some books your way when your address is added!

    • Betsy on June 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      Awesome, Mandy! We’ll let you know when we have an address for the program (waiting to hear back from them).

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