Today I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the storefront of our June Give Back partner, Orphans Treasure Box. (Located at 826 Pioneer St. Champaign IL.) Founder, Beth Wendling, graciously gave me a tour and told me their inspiring story. What first started as listing a few books on Amazon to clear out the house in 2011 has grown into an organization that supports children, orphans and families in our community and around the world. In 2014, their local outreaches were Feeding our Kids and Restoration Urban Ministries. Globally, they have given to Hogar de Esperanza in Peru, the Ladlati Carepoint in Swaziland and to an Orphanage of Hope in India. Generous support has also been given to adoption grants for older and special needs kids through Cole’s Gift Grant.
The storefront portion of Orphans Treasure Box houses thousands of books neatly organized by genres with a large section of fiction/non fiction, mystery, sci fi, cookbooks, spirituals, gardening books and so much more. There is even a whole room full of children’s books with comfy bean bag chairs and toys! These books are sold at a rate of 4 for $1 and have been donated by members of the surrounding communities. In fact as I was there a nice couple from Arcola brought by three huge boxes of books for donations. Beth let me know this is not their “money making” portion of the organization but serves as a wonderful bookshop for all ages with a huge variety of styles and interests available.
Next we moved into the sorting room where volunteers of all ages work to sort through donated books. Beth’s husband developed a system called “red light, green light” which scans each book’s bar code and mathematically calculates whether that particular book should be sold in their online Amazon store or in the Orphans Treasure Box storefront.
After being scanned, books for the Amazon store are sorted on these shelves so they are easily accessible for staff to find and package everyday. There are over 30,000 books in this room!! The online store is where Orphans Treasure Box truly thrives. Because of their online presence they are selling books to people all over the world including the White House, movie stars, monks and more!
The success of Orphans Treasure Box will allow them to support these organizations in 2015. Beth believes there is still a great amount of growth that can happen with this first storefront. Her hope is to branch out into surrounding communities in the coming years!
We invite you to join us for lunch at Big Grove Tavern any weekday in June to support Orphans Treasure Box!
We also welcome any and all book donations! We have a box for collecting donations on our community table in the foyer of the restaurant.They accept donations of Books, Audio CDs and books on CD, DVDs & Blue-Ray Discs, Educational Games & Teaching Tools. For more information about Orphans Treasure Box follow this link http://www.orphanstreasurebox.org/!
Till next time! -Beckie & the Big Grove Team