Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte has launched a multiyear mission called ICOM Books for Freedom with the goal of collecting 50,000 textbooks for schoolchildren in South Africa.
New or used Kindles also are welcome, and financial donations are needed to purchase tablets and to help with shipping.
The plan was launched in 2014, and the church hopes to reach its goal by April 2016.
Over the past 16 years, Friendship Missionary Baptist has worked with children and adults in South Africa through the church’s International Children’s Outreach Ministry. The ministry gives South African children an opportunity to spend summers with church families.
In some cases, the visiting child and host family form lasting bonds. Some of the children in the program now attend institutions of higher learning in the United States.
“Several church families have invested in the education of the children,” said ICOM Chairwoman Debra Smith.
After six summers and five years with their South African student, Nicole, the Smith family has made it possible for her to attend Johnson C. Smith University.
“Over the past 16 years, ICOM has also helped with school supplies, helped an orphanage, focused on mental-health issues and much more,” Smith said.
Andrea Betaudier is Friendship’s staff coordinator for the project and will take calls and handle logistics for the project.
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SOURCE: The Charlotte Observer