Hannah Podschun served as the Reading Coordinator this summer at Chapel Hill UMC. In her role, Hannah realized how few books the children had at home and felt called to provide books for these students in some way. Hannah and the entire Chapel Hill team pulled together and went above and beyond their role as interns to see that every child in their program received three books by the end of the summer. Throughout the process, Hannah kept a journal. Over the next few days, Hannah’s entries about this amazing story will be posted here. Thank you, Hannah, for your amazing work this summer!
Looking back on this process, it’s funny to think that this whole adventure started with a passing comment. I was walking through a Hastings in Oklahoma in June and said to my boyfriend, Aaron, “I wish I could just buy a new book for each of my kids.” His response was, “Why don’t you?” Immediately, I thought of a host of reasons why I could not, predominately money and time, not to mention the immensity of the project. After several more moments, though, I found myself wondering why not try? When I returned to Texas, I talked with my site coordinator about my crazy idea, and she fully supported me, telling me I should get started as soon as possible. After speaking with a couple of staff people and receiving more support, I decided to just go for it. Worst case scenario I would have to pay for the majority of the books and rely on family members whom I had spoken with about the idea to help me. The immense support I received throughout the experience from all of those who were involved was really what pushed me through the experience and helped me get the results that I did. These are a few entries from my process.
Entry 1 – July 7th
Today I emailed the representative at Barnes & Noble, then, because I was feeling particularly inspired, went ahead and posted on my Facebook about this project. I also sent a message to my whole family asking for their support. Within two hours I already had 5 people asking me how to give. The response was seriously mind-blowing. I honestly cannot believe the abundant generosity and support of those who care about me. I was hesitant to post on Facebook, because I thought it unbecoming of me to ask for money at all, but it turns out that people love to give to those that they love and care about, and causes that they are passionate for. I love philanthropy.
Entry 2 – July 8th
Twelve hours after posting about our site’s need on Facebook I have had 14 people respond wanting to offer their support financially. Wow. It blows my mind whenever I get the opportunity to recognize the outrageous support of those who love me and want to support me in what I do. Hopefully Barnes & Noble will be able to pull through with a discount for me to buy the books there. I also had a great idea last night. All of my kids have to do post-assessments, so I can have the Thank You cards ready for them each to sign then during the assessments, which will help me ensure that as many kiddos as possible get to sign them. I will need to get the money by July 20th so that I can purchase all of the books with my team over the weekend and then deliver them the beginning of the next week to ensure that the most kids possible receive their books. That is less than two weeks. Yikes!
Check back Monday for Hannah’s next entries!