Outreach project ideas within your Parish
Women's Storybook Project of Texas
WSP was started by our founder Judith Dullnig in 2003. While she was on a trip, visiting friends in Kentucky, she heard about a similar program and it touched her heart. When she came back to Texas, the idea just wouldn’t leave her and she did some investigation to see if we had a similar program here. We did not. With the support of the outreach committee at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Women’s Storybook Project began. The first team went to the Hilltop Unit in Gatesville with 5 volunteers, four tape recorders and 25 books.
Since then, the program has grown from an all volunteer operation to having two full time staff and over 200 active volunteers. In 2018 we served over 1,600 mothers and their 3,600 children at nine prisons. We opened our program in a tenth prison just this January. Prisons are located in Central Texas and in Dayton, northeast of Houston.
We are not a faith based ministry, per se, we welcome volunteers of all faiths. It’s a powerful day of service though and the volunteers listening to the moms often say they are blessed by the opportunity to share the afternoon with the moms and give this gift to the children.
How can you help?
- Volunteer: If you live within an hour and a half of Gatesville, Marlin, San Saba, Lockhart, Burnet or Dayton, you are a great candidate to volunteer. It’s about an 8 hour day with travel, lunch and time on the unit.
Volunteers are asked to commit to two Saturdays a year, once they are trained. (about 16 hours per year.)
- Host a book drive or donate books – We only use brand new books, since they are a gift from the mother to the child. We serve ages 0-14. Most needed are chapter books and board books, great read aloud selections and popular stories.
- Donate funds: Mailing Supplies, postage and recording equipment are our largest costs. We use media mail, and we mail out over 400 “packages of love” every month. Funds to help keep the lights on are also always appreciated
- Spread the word! We are a pretty well kept secret, especially outside of Central Texas. We’d love to come speak and let folks know about our work. If you belong to a book club, civic group, community or work group – we’d love to come introduce new folks to Women’s Storybook Project. Likewise, follow us on social media and share our posts. Every little bit of awareness helps.
For more information visit https://storybookproject.org/