KOH2RVA: Day 123

reading is funThis is the way I heard the story:

At the Holiday Party at Essex Village on December 23, parents were given a chance to buy gifts for their children from a wide selection of donated items, which included games, puzzles, toys, and books. Each item was priced at 25 cents, allowing the parents to hold on to their dignity by actually buying gifts for their children, and not simply receiving charity.

Christy Somerville was at the book table, helping parents choose age-appropriate books for their children. Christy recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Reading from VCU. She has worked as a literacy coach and a reading specialist. Her vanity license plate says, “RD2KDZ.”

She’s all about it.

And so she was dismayed to hear some of the parents say they didn’t want to spend their 25 cents on books, that they would rather spend it on something a little flashier, a little more fun to open on Christmas morning. That’s when she pulled Steve Blanchard aside and said, “Look, I’m going to put a book in each of these shopping bags. I’ll make a donation to cover the cost.”

That’s what she started doing—picking out age-appropriate books for each of the children who came by and slipping them into the parents’ shopping bags. But when the crowd died down a little she found a place to sit on the floor, open a book, and do what her vanity license plate tells her to do: read to kids.

I love this picture of a little girl who is finding out that “Enchanted Stories” can be exactly that: enchanting. And if you look closely at this picture you can see the Kingdom of Heaven coming to Richmond, Virginia, and the joy it brings to those who bring it.


Blogger’s Note: I will be traveling to Georgetown, Kentucky, today to participate in a two-day pastor’s conference, and staying through Sunday to preach at Faith Baptist Church—the church where I became a Baptist, served as a youth minister, was licensed to the ministry, and married the pastor’s daughter. It’s going to be a very special occasion. But because of all that (and because I will be away from RVA) I will probably wait until I get back on Monday to continue my day-by-day report on our year-long, every-member mission trip. Until then, give me something to report on! You can send your KOH2RVA news to somerville@fbcrichmond.org. I’ll be glad to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “KOH2RVA: Day 123

  1. This was a beautiful moment to see, the spark and joy in both of them. Children who had books were showing them to me, excited to have something to read. Thank you, Christy. And to help add to the story, the reason Jim had to hear this story is because he was outside making some serious moves in the football game with the kids. Daughter Catherine was helping children find and decide on gifts inside too. The Somerville Crew was doing some serious and fun moves Bringing Heaven to Richmond.

  2. We’ll miss you and your daily inspiration, but sounds like a very special trip — traveling mercies, and many happy memories as you make new ones! We’ll try to stay busy on task, back here in good old Richmond!

  3. Beautiful story and such a lovely couple making such a difference, right here in RVA!! Keep on doing the Lord’s work as you are opening the Kingdom of Heaven for so very many people, who need to hear the good news of hope, love and joy!! All love comes from God……..PRAISE GOD!! 🙂

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