Bookshop Features Annual Angel Tree
"I know that if I feel any deprivation or fear about money, the solution is to give. Because I know that giving is the way we can feel abundant," says Anne Lamott, author of "Traveling Mercies" and "Grace (Eventually)." "Giving is the way that we fill ourselves up."
This holiday season, residents and visitors alike can "feel abundant" by giving one of the hundreds of needy children in Moore County their very own -- and perhaps first -- brand-new book.
For the past 14 years, The Country Bookshop on Broad Street in downtown Southern Pines has been the home of the Book Angel Tree. Every year since 1994, generous customers have selected angels with the names of children from the Moore County Head Start Program, "At Risk" preschoolers, and elementary school students whose families need a little extra help putting presents under their trees.
Again this year, more than 500 angels will hang on the bookshop's tree, waiting for that special someone who will purchase a book especially for them.
"For us, the holiday season officially begins when we put up the Angel Tree," says Angie Tally, manager of The Country Bookshop's children's section and coordinator of the Angel Tree program. "It's something the staff looks forward to every year."
So do the bookshop's customers.
"One of several classes of school children has already been in to do their Angel Tree shopping," Tally says. "It is gratifying, especially in these very trying times, to see these young boys and girls who have worked all year to earn money to buy books for children less fortunate than they are. We can all learn a lesson from them. They are the bright, shining example of the saying, 'Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.'"
Tally is aware that this year some people may have limited resources to share with others, so she has selected a series of affordable books for pre-readers through independent readers from Dorling Kindersley (DK), publishers of some of the industry's finest children's literature. They include high-interest, non-fiction titles on animals, trucks, buildings, horses, bugs, and a host of other topics for girls and boys.
"They're less than four dollars each and will still be discounted 20 percent," Tally says, "as will any other children's books selected for the Angel Tree."
The shop's entire staff is ready to assist customers in selecting age- and reading-level appropriate books. Other customers may prefer to chose an angel and donate money for a book to be selected by the staff for that child.
"With more than 500 names this again this year, we hope those who can afford to choose more than one angel will," says Tally. "Because of the generosity of the community in past years, the Angel Tree has had a perfect record. No child has ever been left behind at Christmas."
The deadline to purchase books is Monday, Dec. 15. The Country Bookshop will be open Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. beginning today (Nov. 23) through the end of the year, in addition to regular store hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
An army of volunteers will again be needed to wrap, sort, and deliver books to the schools before they break for the holidays.
For information about the Angel Tree, or to volunteer to wrap or deliver books, call Angie Tally at (910) 692-3211.
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