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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

The Day it All Began

By Ginger Young | March 10, 2022

It was a chilly winter day in 2011. I was feeling a bit nervous, not really sure what I was doing. I entered the waiting room of the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service in Carrboro, North Carolina, lugging a bookshelf and grocery bags full of donated children’s books. I began stocking the shelf – the very first Book Harvest bookshelf, at a time when Book Harvest barely had a name.

Among those in the waiting room was a young boy, maybe age three, squirming in his mom’s lap and watching me intently. When I smiled at him and invited him to join me, he hopped down and made a beeline for a book with Clifford the Big Red Dog on the cover. Sitting cross-legged together on the floor, we lost ourselves in the story.

When we turned the final page, I told his mom he was welcome to take that book and any others he wanted. He instantly piled up seven other books, decisively curated in the way that only a young child can.

The last I saw of that little boy, he was swaggering proudly beside his mom as they were called to their appointment, his arms wrapped resolutely around his new treasures.

Large though his load was for someone his size, he firmly rejected all offers of help to carry them. An older man in the room commented, “Look out, world!”

Everyone laughed. Everyone understood.

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