For several weeks I have been volunteering on Tuesday and Thursday at The Well, which is an organization created to help disadvantaged people by providing FREE meals, clothing, toiletries, household items, and income tax preparation.
When my friend Chiquita became the Director of The Well, on numerous occasions, she suggested that I should volunteer. I asked for a tour of the facility and I noticed that there were many bags of clothing to be sorted and shopping carts full of books to be placed on the shelves but I made no commitment to volunteer.
Impressed by the mission, I began donating clothing, food, household items, and began attending and supporting fundraisers, and I kept thinking about the books, which were still in the shopping carts each time I would visit.
After Christmas, when I took I several items to donate, I stopped by the office to chat with Chiquita and was met with, "When are you going to volunteer?" I replied, "I could be doing the books." She answered, "Oh, the Board would have to approve that." Shocked, I asked, "The Board has to decide whether someone can organize the books from those shopping carts?" She gasped, "Oh, I thought you meant to do the bookkeeping!" We laughed at the miscommunication. Obviously "doing the books" was not the best phrase I could have used!
After several weeks of "doing the books", I have all the books organized, labeled and placed, not by the Dewey Decimal System, but by what I consider to be user-friendly categories: REFERENCE, FICTION, NON-FICTION, REFERENCE, HEALTH, DIET, COOKBOOKS, BABY CARE, HISTORY, SELF-HELP, RELIGION, HUMOR, and CLASSICS.
Last Thursday, I placed To Kill A Mockingbird in the CLASSICS section. On Tuesday, when I went to volunteer, I noticed the book was gone and I was touched, because I thought, "Someone heard about Harper Lee dying and got the book because of that." On Thursday a man asked, "Have you ever seen that book To Kill A Mockingbird?" He and I spoke at length about the book and Ms. Lee.
Although it's sad that her dying is the way that will inspire some to read the book--or see the movie--it is still gratifying.