When a tire goes flat, someone has to be around to change it or pump it back up. This is the primary job of the leader of a “Bookcase for Every Child” project, because it’s an all-volunteer project. If it’s everyone’s job, then it’s no one’s job. A leader is someone others will follow and can be a man or a woman who possesses some unique qualities. There are many people like this in every city in America who have a heart for service, for helping other people, especially children being reared in disadvantaged homes. This individual should be in good health, be retired or semi-retired, and has the time available to devote to the project.
Be forewarned – there will be people involved in every project who will want to change things and take short cuts. But we have perfected this project from seven years of experience, so please resist these people. This is the reason the “Bookcase for Every Child” project is copyrighted. The leader should be a long-standing member of your community and one who will be available for some time. Few people are ever given the opportunity to lead a community-wide project, and to really make a difference and affect the lives of countless people for generations to come.
Who comes to mind when you consider the following qualities?
1. Has an excellent reputation and is highly respected in the community.
2. Is an excellent communicator and is able to talk one-to-one, as well as before groups of any size, and with the media.
3. Is a good organizer, both with time and with people. There will be projects to organize and committees to form.
4. Has the ability to bounce back when they get knocked down by the uninformed or even those we are trying to help.
5. Is a people person who can relate to both the pillars of the community as well as the lowly and outcasts.
6. Likes school teachers who spend a good deal of their own money because they love kids; has ample resources and is willing to share a little, if a short term need arises. With proper management, this would only be during your first year.
7. Grasps the concept that we want to involve people rather than trying to raise money. When someone gives a lot of money, it denies others the opportunity to feel like they are part of the project.
While it takes thousands of people, over time, to develop a successful “Bookcase for Every Child” project, like a wildfire started with just one match, a real leader can be the guiding light that accomplishes miracles. The Power of One cannot be denied. As the old saying goes, “One person, totally committed, can accomplish more than a hundred who have only a passing interest.” You will be constantly motivated if you will think about the kids who never learn to read, drop out of school, and who lead the kind of life they face as an illiterate. They lose and we lose too.