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LivingWell Customers Donate Books to School Libraries

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Many local elementary students will have new books in their school libraries, thanks to customers at Potomac Conference’s LivingWell store in Silver Spring, Md.

This fall, the LivingWell Adventist Book Center received 160 books worth $1,583 during the store’s first book drive.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for the LivingWell community to give back and support children's access to quality books,” says Melissa Leddy, store manager. “We want to get kids excited about reading and stories through the books we give them in schools. We hope they'll love them and find them inspiring and uplifting, with lots of great lessons. We want these books to help spark their imaginations [and] improve problem-solving skills.”

Most of the books will be donated to small Potomac Conference school libraries, notes Janet Armstrong, associate superintendent of schools. 

“Many low-income families and areas do not have access to a large supply of written material for children to learn to love,” says Carla Simmons, the office administrator at Potomac Conference’s Department of Education. “What a blessing these books will be to our smaller schools and the students. … The added blessing of these books, since they come from LivingWell, is that they will have messages in them that will tie those students’ love of reading to the message of Christ’s love and hope that will be found in their pages.”

Leddy says the customers were thrilled to give back in this personal and unique way. “We even had a young boy who came in with his allowance money to donate an Adventures in Odyssey book that he liked, with the hope that it would be enjoyed in a school library as much as he did,” she says.

The LivingWell leadership team considers community involvement as a crucial aspect of it’s mission and Potomac Conference’s, and the store works to “promote healthier and more spiritually fulfilling lives by reaching out to the community,” says Leddy. “With this book drive, we saw staff and customers interacting and connecting over shared interests in books and how they could work together to support schools and kids.”

The store also has a Pastor's Corner, book signings, a “Journey to Health” seminar series, a Vege-Fest (next one is May 2024), a Creation Health Workshop, free Bible studies (in person and online) and more. LivingWell has plans to be even more involved in community outreach partnerships in the future, adds Leddy.

Visit the store at 12004 Cherry Hill Road, Silver Spring, MD, 20904.

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