London residents conducting children’s book drive

Kelly Armfelt (left) and Stephanie Huddleston are coordinating a children’s book drive. Tucker Gorman (right) is manager of Phat Daddy’s, one of the book collection sites.

(Posted June 25, 2018)

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”

Residents, teachers and friends Stephanie Huddleston and Kelly Armfelt are working to insure that area children in need receive the gift of a new book this summer.

“I was lying in bed one night and the idea to combine new books with the summer lunch program just popped into my head,” Huddleston explained.

Huddleston is a volunteer and supporter of Sufficient Grace, an outreach program that provides non-perishable food items to school-age children in area public schools.

A chance meeting and quick sidewalk conversation with Huddleston at London Public Library inspired Armfelt, a summer lunch program and H.E.L.P. House volunteer, to get involved. Both women are passionate about the power of putting a new book into the hands of children who typically don’t have access to new books or the option of choosing “just right” books for themselves.

With the support of area churches, businesses, and service organizations, Huddleston and Armfelt have set a goal of collecting 200 new books in the next few weeks.

Book collection sites include London Public Library, Doc’s Pizza (Lake Choctaw), St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Madison County Vineyard, London Church of the Nazarene, London First United Methodist Church, Madison County Department of Child and Family Services, Phat Daddy’s, and Stanley Electric. New chapter and picture books for children in grades 1-3 (ages 6-10) will be collected at these sites until July 18.

Volunteers will distribute the books to children attending the summer lunch program, spearheaded by Madison County Vineyard, the week of July 23.

For more information about the collection, contact Stephanie Huddleston at (740) 506-0012 or or Kelly Armfelt at (740) 837-0440 or

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