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Marlow gives the gift of books
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Shown with some of the 234 books Marlow Elementary School donated to Manna House are, front row, kindergarteners Conner Rawlings and Emma Farmer and first-grader Kaylee Foster; middle row, third-grader Daniela Gomez, fourth-grader Sara Sheffield and second-grader Vrit Patel; and back row, Marlow Elementary media clerk Kerri Moore and MES media specialist Kim Sheffield. - photo by Photo by Paul Floeckher

Marlow Elementary School students are sharing their love of reading with other children in the community, through a donation to Manna House Ministries.

As part of Children’s Book Week in November, Marlow students brought books from home to give to Manna House. The children donated 234 books, covering all elementary-school grading levels.

“Our children love to read,” said Marlow Elementary media specialist Kim Sheffield, “and just the thought of giving to somebody who doesn’t have a book, to share their love of reading with other children, makes them feel really good.”

Sheffield’s daughter Sara, a fourth-grader, echoed that sentiment. She donated a “Tinker Bell” book she had outgrown, in hopes that another girl could enjoy it as much as she had.

“We’re a giving school. We like to give back to the community,” her mother said.

Marlow had held book fairs and book swaps before, Sheffield said, but never a book drive. This year, the school decided to add a charitable donation to the activities for Children’s Book Week.

Sheffield said she discussed the idea with assistant principal Leslie Dickerson, who coordinates Marlow’s United Way campaign. Dickerson suggested helping Manna House, a ministry that provides clothing, food and household items to people in need in Effingham County.

Manna House is a non-profit food pantry and thrift store in Rincon. It is supported by 32 local churches, but donations from the community are always needed.

 “We have a database of over a thousand families. We have a lot of families that we deal with each month,” said Manna House director Lisa Bush.

Bush praised Marlow Elementary for teaching its students the importance of helping others. She added that a number of school-age children in the community volunteer at Manna House.

“(Their parents) want to get them volunteering in the community so they learn that concept at an early age,” Bush said. “It’s a good thing to teach your children to give back.”

Manna House is at 1210 Patriot Drive, across from the Effingham YMCA. The food pantry and thrift store are open from 12 noon-2:30 p.m. on Monday and 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

For more information about Manna House, call 826-2037.