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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Dr. King and Our Stunning Network of Mutuality

By Ginger

Young, Executive Director

“Mom, can we please come back tomorrow?”

This question was asked by a shivering boy as he and his family were reluctantly leaving Book Harvest’s 2016 Dream Big Book Drive at Durham Central Park.

Such was our day, riding an irresistible wave of joy, fun, and service, undaunted by the cold and united in our vision of books for all children. By the end of the day, more than 26,000 books had been donated, and more than 400 volunteers had prepared these books to be shared with local children.

I had the privilege of offering thoughts during the kickoff of the event. I want to share them here:

In his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King, wrote, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

This network of mutuality is never more evident in the Book Harvest world than it is today, as we all — book donors and volunteers and sponsors and friends and educators and families — come together to dream of a world in which all our children are growing up surrounded by books, and to work to realize that dream.

A little girl who picked out books to take home this winter break told us, “I’m going to keep these books for 100 years!” It was our network of mutuality that led to her swell of pride over her new home library — a network that extended from her fellow readers who donated the books she now calls her own to her loving

parents and dedicated teachers, and of course to the girl herself, who now eagerly identifies as a reader.

And she’s not the only one: local children have harvested 365,000 books since we started in 2011, buoyed by tens of thousands of volunteer hours — volunteers just like each of you here today, our stalwart warriors not afraid of a little cold.

Dr. King went on in his letter to say, “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” For every child who is growing up without the empathy and curiosity and expansive horizons that books afford, we — all of us — are diminished. That is not the world we want.

When our children dream big, we all dream big. The network that links us is beautiful and powerful and word-filled and brimming with the hope and promise of our children.

A heartfelt thanks to each of you for being here today and for being a part of our network of mutuality!

Were you at Dream Big?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the day. Email me at

Dreaming big together, we can accomplish great things for our kids and our community!


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