Children involved in stressful situations can now receive a book to help ease their nerves.
If there is a house fire, wreck or domestic disturbance call, law enforcement officials now have a large selection of books to give to children who may be affected.
The goal is to give the children something positive to focus on after a bad situation has occurred.
The New Albany Police Department and the Union County Sheriff’s Office received the children’s books March 3 from the New Century Club.
“We know that you will find some children who really need them,” said Martha Frances Monroe, president of the New Century Club.
Children’s books were also given to the Union County Library and the New Haven Center for Special Needs Adults. More than 200 children’s books were given away as part of the New Century Club’s service project.
The police department and sheriff’s office can give books to children when they respond to certain calls where kids are involved. Likewise, a police officer might see a child walking down the street and give him a book for encouragement.
Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards and New Albany Police Chief Chris Robertson were on hand to receive the books from the New Century Club at the local museum.
“It’s a great idea,” said Edwards of the New Century Club’s service project.
Edwards said the sheriff’s department has given children teddy bears in the past, but he is starting to run out of those. The books will be a great help, said Edwards. When there are situations such as traffic crashes or house fires where children are involved, it is helpful to give children something that can calm them down and make them feel safe, said Edwards.
The books will be put to good use and the sheriff’s office is proud to have them, the sheriff added.
Police Chief Chris Robertson said unfortunately his department has to deal with situations where children are involved. Many times officers have to try put a positive light on a bad situation, he said.
“This will most certainly help with some of that,” said Robertson, adding that it means a lot to some children when they receive a book. “I’m very thankful that they did this and I’m sure we’ll be able to put them to good use.”
The New Century Club has been around since 1902, and each month the members study a book. This year the club’s theme is memoirs. The New Century Club started the Union County Library years ago, said Monroe.
“We love books,” Monroe said. “We just hope that children will have that love of reading.”
Hopefully, if a child receives a book from a law enforcement officer it will be a special gift, Monroe said.
She said the service project to give away children’s books fit well with the club’s purpose. This the first year that the club has done this, but it has completed other service projects in the past.
The New Century Club has 20 members, and for the past two months they have been collecting new or gently used children’s books. The books were for ages ranging from preschool to about sixth grade.
“It’s just been really exciting to come up with this and do this,” said Monroe. “We are so happy to do this. We know they will be used and cherished by all the children’s hands that receive them.”
The books that were given to the library will go in the library’s book nook, which is a room where people can take books in exchange for a donation. There are hundreds of books in the book nook, said Union County Library Director Sissy Bullock, adding that there are books for children and adults.
“We appreciate the New Century Club donating these books,” said Bullock.
The New Century Club also makes monetary contributions to the library, New Haven Center for Special Needs Adults and the William Faulkner Literary Contest each year, Monroe said.
The club also gives a college scholarship to a high school senior each May. The seniors compete for the scholarship by writing an essay about what they plan to do with their future.
The scholarship is made possible by a woman who left money in her will for the New Century Club. The New Century Club helped the woman go to college years ago, and she never forgot what the club did for her. Only the interest from the money is used to fund the scholarship.