Though there are no longer free books in their back parking lot, GraceWorks Ministries has sent a request to the hundreds of people who gathered books to return to the site to donate food to the ministry’s food pantry.
When GraceWorks’ landlord at 104 Southeast Parkway evicted a nearby tenant, thousands of books were dumped out of the warehouse into the nearby parking lot. Tennessee eviction law requires that landlords deposit property housed within the evicted building in a place where the tenant can collect it.
The tenant did not collect the books, and the parking lot behind GraceWorks was inundated on Monday and Tuesday with hundreds of community members to collect free books, with many filling their entire trunks.
“It was an unexpected madhouse, with cars flowing in and out of our parking lot all day,” said GraceWorks CEO Valencia A. Breckenridge.
“While we appreciate the exposure through foot traffic, network news and social media, it is important that everyone be aware that at the same time, GraceWorks is experiencing a regular summer slump in food donations. With 31 families coming to the ministry for a month’s worth of food on Monday alone, the ministry needs more donations to continue to feed neighbors in need.
“It would bless us greatly if those who came out in droves to collect free books would return the good by donating to their neighbors in need, whether through food, shopping in our thrift store, or through a donation to GraceWorks,” Breckenridge added. “Eighty-nine cents of every dollar donated to GraceWorks goes directly to programs that help our neighbors with food, rent, utility assistance, and more.”
A 501c3 organization based in Franklin, GraceWorks’ mission is “Neighbor serving Neighbor – by the power of God’s grace.” The charity offers immediate assistance to community members who need help paying rent and utility bills and also provides a community food pantry. The organization is located at 104 Southeast Parkway, with a satellite GraceWorks West in Fairview, and online at graceworksministries.org.