Morning Glory Ministries Biscoe Volunteer Uses Extra Books

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Mark Lucas volunteers with Morning Glory Ministries in Biscoe. The thrift store accepts items and monetary donations to fulfill the mission of helping the homeless and needy. Lucas mainly helps with surplus book donations using them in various ways, but while volunteering he is willing to help with other things when needed.

Lucas has an interest in books, but says another reason for his volunteer work with ministry owners Don and Joy Maynor is that they care about and help the community. The ministry provides food, clothing, sleeping bags, tents and more to the homeless and needy, serving several counties including Montgomery, Moore, Randolph and others.

“I really enjoy working with the ministry. Joy and Don are great people… They are an asset to the community,” said Lucas.

In December 2017, the first Morning Glory Ministries store opened in Star, but the thrift store was later moved to a larger site on Sedberry Road in Biscoe. It was again moved to an even larger building at 309 Wright Road, Biscoe, its current location. The department now has a second thrift store in Robbins.

Create a win-win situation from excess donated books

Before Lucas started volunteering, he was a customer at the thrift store. He saw books in boxes and asked if he could leaf through them. Joy said he could and asked him to separate the books by genre while doing so. They sold him a box of books for just a few dollars. He has his own collection, so he was happy to have some great books to add and swap.

Lucas, who works second shift at the Perdue mill in Candor, has volunteered to help out for a few hours a week handling books. He says it was around September 2019; at this time the Morning Glory Ministries thrift store was in Sedberry Road, Biscoe. Lucas mostly helps on Tuesdays, but sometimes he comes by on other days and works or picks up books.

In addition to other donated items, the thrift store receives many books. Joy decides which ones to keep in the store and also uses an app to sell certain books to businesses. Lucas used to put books on shelves, but some wouldn’t sell and now Joy doesn’t keep as many in the thrift store.

Lucas now mainly deals with the remaining unwanted books. He sorts them and picks them up. He uses them by donating them, exchanging them, putting them in his own collection and recycling those that are in poor condition.

Lucas says probably three-quarters of the books he collects are donated. Some are donated to organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. He keeps magazines and books for someone he knows who takes them to rest homes in the area. He also donates religious books to local churches.

He gives books to people who want them for their children; the less fortunate do not always have the means to buy books for their children. He has connections to people through work and the church who benefit from book donations.

“It helps people who otherwise might not be lucky enough to get these books,” Lucas said.

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Due to COVID, in 2020 Lucas hasn’t worked at Morning Glory Ministries as much, but he’s still picked up excess pounds while social distancing. He said he gave away a lot of books that year; people were obviously reading more while staying at home during this time.

One of his colleagues had a granddaughter who entered a reading contest and had to read a certain number of words. He provided her with many books that she could use to meet her reading needs.

Lucas said another co-worker of his had a fire that burned down all of his child’s books. He was able to replace the destroyed books.

He ends up keeping about 15% of the books. He is passionate about history and collects historical and religious studies, as well as leisure reading books such as science fiction fantasy. He swaps books with people and goes to bookstores and sells used books. He manages to exchange books for CDs and DVDs.

About 10% of the books he receives are torn, damaged, etc. They are taken to book shredders to be recycled.

If someone is looking for a particular book, they can rate it and find a copy for them. In turn, he knows people who can look up certain books he wants.

Lucas sees his work with these books as a blessing in every way. Joy can give her the extra books. Individuals and organizations benefit from book donations. It also benefits him; he can enjoy his hobby of collecting books without spending a lot of money.

Lucas wants to continue helping the community by using the many books he receives and letting people know he has a lot to give.

It can be tedious to lift boxes of books from the thrift store and then work second shift at his regular job, but Lucas doesn’t care. For him, his work with Morning Glory Ministries is not a job; it is a vocation.

Amy Dunn writes people profiles. Know someone in Randolph County who is making an impact or has an interesting story? Email your suggestions to [email protected]


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