I had the privilege sharing the story of The Word Wagon at UMCOMM the other week. Thank you to Laura Buchanan and David Hollis for letting me share my story. Here is a little about the beginning days of The Word Wagon.
Has there ever been a decision that you came across where if you had hesitated and not answered yes, you would not be in the position you are in today?
Maybe yes to a college acceptance letter, a job offer, etc? I had one of these decisions too which provided the most amazing opportunity in my life after saying yes.
October 2015 the idea of creating a mobile library came to mind. I thought about ways in which books could be more readily accessible for the children who lack access to books outside of school. Upon pitching the idea to my mom and a few friends, a meeting came up which was crucial to the launch of The Word Wagon. The meeting was with Chris Whitney, the Founder and Director of One Generation Away. One Generation Away is an organization dedicated to the dream of eliminating poverty, racism, and denominationalism. A huge ministry this organization provides are mobile food pantries. Neighbors who struggle with food insecurity come to the mobile pantries and receive great amounts of food for their families. We asked Chris what he thought about bringing The Word Wagon’s mobile reading room for the children to have an activity while their parents wait to collect the food. He said yes and asked if we would come to their next mobile food pantry the following week. My answer: YES!
But wait! We have no books, no tent, no chairs… What are we to do? After the initial detail crisis moment in my mind, everything fell right into place. We gathered 100 of my childhood books, a friend donated a box of books, a tent was borrowed from my pastor, and we used my childhood bookcase and wagon. Everything we needed was right there. Our first READing Day we had 15 children come and read with us and it was a beautiful morning. Since October 16, 2015 we have read with over 300 children, placed over 1,500 books into the hands of children, held 33 READing Days, and traveled over 1,000 miles.
Want to READ with us sometime? Visit our website
The Word Wagon has been an incredible journey and I am so excited to see where it will roll onto next. Many exciting things are happening and I am thrilled to be able to share them with you all on this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read along with us and share with your friends who would like to join in our vision to change children’s lives one book at a time.