No. 951



In addition to being solid spiritual food, the Bible is replete with concepts and principles that, when properly understood, can mean the difference between success and failure, wealth and poverty, happiness and misery and a more hopeful and optimistic future.
One of these principles can be found in Acts 20:35, when the Apostle Paul had this to say, “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” I dare say that millions of people in the world do not truly understand this principle and what it means.
Most people, by human nature, want all they can get for themselves and do not understand that to have, we must first give. As founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project, one of the greatest blessings I have ever had took place back on Feb. 9, 2014. On this date, more than 450 people assembled at the First United Methodist Church here in my community to celebrate “World Thinking Day.” This is an international program of Girl Scouts, and the theme for this year was “education opens doors for all girls and boys.”
Several weeks before this event I was contacted by Susan Eggert, a volunteer with the Faulkner County Girl Scouts. Susan wanted to know if our bookcase project may have an interest in the local Girl Scout troops collecting pre-school children’s books for our project. I told her we would be honored to have them. She then asked if we could have a representative to be present at this event to receive the books. As I understand it, they have 42 troops in the county and they offered cash prizes for the troops who collected the most books. Would you believe that when the books were counted at the event, these girls had collected 2,305 books? The winners were Troop #6711 - 36 books per scout and a $100 prize; #6254 - 34 books and a $75 prize; #6615 - 24 books and a $50 prize; #6717 - 20 books and a $25 prize.
I share this not only to praise and honor these Girl Scouts for their good work but also to demonstrate that this was truly the community at work. This is just one of many reasons our community is a fantastic place to live, because countless other groups and individuals also understand the principle that it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive. Should you live in another community where this column runs each week, I bet you have a lot of this type of activity going on there as well. If you don’t, why not be the catalyst to start projects that will benefit the less fortunate in your midst.
The 2,305 books these Girl Scouts collected will meet our needs for several years and we will also be able to share with other Bookcase for Every Child projects in our county. Our goal is to begin the Vilonia Bookcase Project this year and this will make every town of any size having their own bookcase project. This is a simple concept -- people giving back to help those in need, and it can be duplicated county by county (or parishes in Louisiana) throughout the United States of America.
Should you have a problem with illiteracy in your county or community, why not give this some thought. Over time, this can make a tremendous difference to the people in need, and to the long-range good where you live, work and play. This is what I mean by “The Community at Work.” From my perspective, it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)