Imagination Library

Giving to the Imagination Library of Lincoln County’s “Invest in Our Children” campaign has increased to $10,081 in the last week.

Now in its 14th year, the local Imagination Library affiliate is asking for your donations to help ensure that over 1,300 children across our community continue to benefit from the program.


‘Invest in Our Children’ donors

The campaign just recently got its start, and as of Saturday, the total raised is at $10,081. Making donations thus far are the following contributors:

Ivy Wreath, Bagley & Bagley Insurance, Riverside Christian Academy, Dwight and Carolyn Caudle, Memorial for Melanie Hamilton by Mack Hamilton, Memorial for Rinda Jo Killian Clark by Fred Clark and Friends of the Lincoln County Sheriff, Stone Bridge Garden Club, Carousel Horse, Betty Abernathy, Beth Dickey, Pat Fraley Attorney at Law, Jena Gray, Junior Round Dozen, EFM, Howard and Wanda Southerland, Serendipity Farm, Richard and Deborah McFerrin, Camargo Bar-B-Que;

In honor of Tom and Celia Wallace, in honor of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church, Helen Lowe, Arden Humphrey, Tom and Celia Wallace, Tony and Teresa Brown, Bill and Sue Priest, Accent Cabinets, Shawnta Fulton, Randy and Kathy McElroy, Patricia Hopper, Al and Mary K. Horsman, Sue Teets, Donna Hertha,

In memory of Doug and Edna Young, Martha Wolf, Marie Van Lantschoot, City of Fayetteville, Tim and Shannon Blackwood, Brooke and Amy Grubb, Charles and Mary Lou Danner, Nancy Glass, Good News Class at ARP Church, Rhonda Seitzinger, Bill and Kay Askins,

Beta Kappa Chapter Delta Kappa Gamma, Cindy Tinney, Joseph and Mary L. Bomar, Billy and Eda Tabor, Fayetteville Rotary Club, Michael and Melody Layne, Linda Gentle, Alpha Kappa Club, Steve and Judy Purinton, Laura Kinkle, James and Susanna Gattis, Eugene Ham, Lincoln County Education Foundation, Attorney at Law Jonathan C. Brown, and Jillian R. Rael.


How to donate

Donations can be mailed to the Imagination Library of Lincoln County at P.O. Box 914, Fayetteville, TN, 37334. Checks should be made payable to the Imagination Library of Lincoln County, and contributions are tax-deductible.

Only the names of contributors are being listed weekly in The Times throughout the “Invest in Our Children” drive – the amounts of contributions will not be published. Contributors are welcome to make donations in honor or in memory of someone; simply note that on the memo line of your check.

“We’re only asking for a donation of $15 per person, but if everyone is Lincoln County would do that, the future of the program would be ensured,” said Brown. “Of course, donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated.

Individuals, couples, families, or businesses and other organizations contributing $180 or more will become a Lincoln County Imagination Library Donor and included in the almost weekly advertisements provided to the nonprofit by The Times.


The challenge

“After 14 years, the challenge is convincing people that Dolly does not buy our books,” said Teresa Brown, treasurer of the local Imagination Library organization, a nonprofit that must raise just over $20,000 each year to place a book a month in each of the hands of more than 1,300 children currently enrolled in the program here.

“Dolly Parton has never paid for a single book for Lincoln County children,” she continued. “Having said that, the idea is 100 percent Dolly’s – she started it, and she does, in fact, buy all the books for children enrolled in the program in her hometown of Sevierville.”

Dolly’s Imagination Library program does provide the infrastructure of the core program, managing the secure central database for the ordering system and coordinating book selections and pricing of the books to the local affiliates.

Affiliates, though, such as the Imagination Library of Lincoln County, must shoulder the bulk of costs. Established here in 2005, just 10 years after Dolly launched the effort, the Lincoln County affiliate partners with the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation to help pay the cost of the books and mailing. Aimed at fostering a love of reading in children, the program provides one free book a month to every registered child from birth to age 5, regardless of their family’s income.

“The current enrollment of Lincoln County is over 1,300 children at a local cost of $15 per child,” said Brown. “The cost of operating the program for a year is over $20,000.

“Invest in Our Children is an opportunity for schools, churches, civic organizations, or anyone who feels strongly that every child should have books in the home starting at birth to help fund this program,” she said. “This program has been funded for 14 years by donors, $15 at a time – there are no corporate donors writing checks.”

Since the local program started, more than 200,000 books have been mailed to children in Lincoln County.


To become involved

“We also welcome people who would like to become involved in our nonprofit organization,” said Brown, explaining that an all-volunteer board here in Lincoln County oversees the program.

Persons interested in helping or serving on the board can contact Teresa Brown at 931-808-2695.

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