Action Book Clubs across the country are combining reading with community service—and having fun along the way! In this series, we’re highlighting some of our favorite reading groups. To find out how you can start an Action Book Club of your own visit the program’s web page.

Location: Oxford, Michigan
Good Read: What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City by Mona Hanna-Attisha
Good Deed: Donating books to a local medical center in Flint

Why did you decide to join the Action Book Club Program?
The Action book club makes sense. To read a book, get inspired and creative by that book, and then take positive action in some way.

Tell us more about your community activity. Why did you choose this activity? How did you do it and what were the highlights?
What the Eyes Don’t See was selected as The Great Michigan Read for 2019. We received free copies made possible through The Michigan Humanities Council. Next, we went to hear Dr. Mona speak and learn more about the Flint water crisis. But we also learned that only 1 in 300 children in the city of Flint have a book. This spoke straight to our hearts and we took action to find books to donate to Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint.

Pictured in the back right of the photo [above] is Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, author of What the Eyes Don’t See. She met us with such warmth and enthusiasm during the book delivery. We were so surprised and honored! The others pictured are Louise Luke, Mary Kraniak, and myself [Jane Saxon]…dedicated Action Book Club members.

What were the challenges of your community activity?
We didn’t have many challenges. We were fortunate to receive a hefty book donation from our local public library. They gave us all the books left over from their fall book sale. After only a few email exchanges, we found out where we could deliver the books to make the most meaningful impact for the children in Flint. It’s important to know that we worked as a team to make it happen.

What advice do you have for other Action Book Clubs?
Continue to do good for those in need through persistence, dedication, enthusiasm, and joy. Take pleasure in knowing that you are doing something good. And by your work, you are inspiring others to make a difference, no matter how big or small.

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