The Literacy Labyrinth campaign goal of collecting 3,000 books was exceeded by 1,762, with 4,762 books ending up in the hands of people in the Lafayette community. Most of the books have been distributed through the Literacy Coalition (A United Way partner in Lafayette), with 1,000 books donated to Acts of Love, a national non-profit organization. Acts of Love books are donated to schools, after-school programs, libraries and private homes to encourage and introduce an interest in reading.
Waltrina Middleton, minister for youth advocacy and leadership formation on the UCC Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team hailed the commitment the young people brought to the literacy project, "taking on this faith, service and justice outreach with all of their heart. It is not cheap to check luggage these days and yet, our youth groups generously packed their suitcases and brought literally thousands of books with them to NYE to raise awareness and make a difference in the lives of young people they may never meet or know. That is powerful," said Middleton, as she issued a challenge for the wider church.
"Our youth groups have set a high mark for community collaboration. We charge everyone to keep the spirit of NYE alive. The literacy labyrinth is something everyone could do in their local communities. Groups can keep the energy of NYE going by hosting their own labyrinth with a focus on an issue that is relevant to their community needs," Middleton stressed. "We also hope to see how youth groups are keeping the momentum of NYE alive and thriving in their local settings".
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