News Story

Families Matter Receives 10,000 Books From Mormon Women in Calgary

Calgarian women from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have donated over 10,000 books to Families Matter, a family support organization.

Carole M. Stephens, first counsellor in the Relief Society general presidency of the Church, was in Calgary to officially make the donation to the non-profit organization on November 1, 2014. Along with staff and members of the community, Stephens was joined by Calgary city councillor Evan Woolley, Church leader Elder Lawrence Spackman and former Families Matter board members Flora Spackman and Anne Tingle.

In conjunction with the Church’s general women’s meeting on September 27, 2014, Mormon women in Calgary held a book drive to benefit low-income families served by the new Families Matter community hub. The new hub will serve approximately 500 children whose families are primarily refugees from Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. Some First Nations families will also use the facility.

Families Matter provides parenting education and support for healthy child development. While the hub is located in Calgary family housing, the organization welcomes any families from outlying communities to participate in their programs and services.

Families Matter manager Corinna Totino said that the organization was excited and overwhelmed with the generous donation. “We thought we would receive a few hundred books — 10,000 books means that not only can our families take books home to keep, but we can also share with a variety of other organizations in the community as well as have a substantial lending library.”

Totino emphasized the importance of early interactions that lead to increased language development in early childhood. “Literacy is the solution. Putting books in the hands of children in need makes a difference.” Stephens remarked, “We recognize the importance of helping build strong families and the impact of literacy in that goal.” She noted that book drives benefit everyone. Book drives encourage literacy and pride in book ownership, both of which build self-esteem. Furthermore, book drives promote volunteering on a co-operative basis and help create meaningful partnerships in the community.

Elder Spackman added, “We teach the members of our church the importance of literacy in their homes and feel it is a great benefit for children to know how to read. … We hope this donation of books will help strengthen children and families by helping them develop a love of reading.”

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