Wondering how you can get involved sending bibles to the mission field? Ready to do even more to help Love Packages get used bibles and Christian literature overseas? Set up a Love Packages bible donation center for your community!
What is a bible donation center?
A Love Packages bible donation center is a regional drop-off location that is setup and run by a volunteer like you.
Our main warehouse is in Butler, Illinois, and our second full-time location is in Decatur, Alabama. But we also have ministry partners and collectors all over the country who operate bible donation (and other materials we can use, of course) drop-off locations in their communities.
Donation centers help us collect a lot more literature from people all over the U.S. Just look at the comments on our, “How to Donate Old Bibles” article: most of them are people asking for a drop-off location near them!
Volunteers who maintain drop-off centers all work a little differently, but they are all ultimately responsible for delivering donated bibles and other materials to one of our two warehouse locations.
Why start a Love Packages donation center?
As with any service or missions work, hosting a bible donation center is a benefit to ever individual and ministry involved!
1. Collect more literature.
People that live far from our warehouses can’t always arrange for a long drive to bring in materials. Some of them can mail donated literature to us, but those boxes get heavy. Even the USPS’s discounted medial mail rate starts to add up.
So bibles and other literature that people would donate to Love Packages and the international mission field end up in recycle bins or resale stores without a local drop-off donation center.
2. Connect more people.
There are people right now who live states away from the nearest Love Packages drop-off location. They may find us online, but never get to know us because they can’t get involved. Operating a collection center puts you in a position to connect more people in your community to the work Love Packages is doing.
Establishing a bible donation center will also introduce Love Packages to people in your area who aren’t going to find us online. It might be the local church(es) you work with or just people who ask what you’re working on.
3. Spread the gospel.
You just want to do more to send the gospel to the ends of the earth!
We asked several of our current collection center volunteers why they donate their time in this way, and here is what a couple of them said:
“To give God’s Word to the nations. It’s like a mission trip in your own backyard.” – Lisa Huber (Illinois)
“Sharing Jesus with others around the world. We look forward to meeting folks in heaven that we have touched in this manner.” – Chester J Whitten III (Maryland)
4. Disciple your local church.
When ministry leaders decide to partner with Love Packages, the people in their congregations are blessed.
Some learn for the first time what it is to be a Christian overseas who would never dream of owning a bible. Others discover the immense value in an “outdated” piece of Sunday school material that would otherwise be recycled.
“Our members know automatically that no piece of literature gets thrown away. I have boxes around our church and I clean them out every two or three weeks. It never fails, the next Sunday I’ll come in and find more literature in there.” – Luke Canup (Georgia)
How to start a bible donation collection center
Ready to get started?
1. Check the map.
Before you get too far, check the map, above and make sure there isn’t already a drop-off location in your town. If there is, get in touch with that church or individual and see how you can work together.
If you’re an individual or family that wants to establish a drop-off location, your efforts might be more effective working with an established donation center. If you’re a local church or ministry, you probably still want to set up a drop-off location in your building, but you can probably partner with another local ministry when it comes time to deliver materials to a Love Packages warehouse!
2. Assemble a team.
Not a requirement, but definitely a help. If you’re a ministry leader, especially, it will be nice to have a small group who can answer questions and help make deliveries as the needs arise.
3. Establish a location.
For a local ministry leader, this just means establishing a location in your building. Cafe? Foyer? Reception? All of the above? Find a good place for a box or bin, and a stack of brochures and newsletters, and try not to move it.
If possible, we often recommend a place that is easily accessible, as often as possible. A foyer area that is kept unlocked, or a sheltered porch, for example, are great options, because people in the community can drop off material any time.
If the church building is fairly large, we also recommend a donation center near classrooms or Sunday School areas. This is a great place for collecting gently used Sunday School books when classes end.
For individuals or families, establishing a location might mean talking to your church leadership—or local cafe and/or bookstore (and other small business) owners. Or all of the above.
We also have several volunteers who collect in their homes, and connect with locale donors individually. For those individuals who do not want their home addresses pinned on our map, we add a pin to the middle of town and attach a name and phone number/email address.
4. Let us know.
Get in touch and let us know you want to start an official collection center. We’re working on better resources for collection centers, but for now we will add your location to our map and send you a stack of brochures.
5. Get started!
Set up a box and get the word out. We don’t care how you do it!
Many local pastors and volunteers have mentioned that they started getting a lot of calls and emails after they were added to our map. People in your area are looking for local donation centers!
“When we first started, we were getting a van load a month … but God continued to show us new and different ways to work. Today (16 years later), we send truck loads to Butler.
“We have not done everything right all the time. We have learned from mistakes, and we continue to be open to new means. You can tailor it to your situation.” – Wayne and Ruth Thomas (Ohio)
If you’re representing a local church, you may also be surprised at how quickly and enthusiastically your congregation and local community get involved.
“Last year we had our first area literature drive. I made the last-minute decision to upgrade from the 5000 lb rental truck to the 10,000 lb truck.
“I ended up having to wait three hours at the rental place, because they had a short in the waiting system on a nearly brand new truck. But I was sure that God wanted me to wait for the 10,000 lb truck.
“On the day of the drive, we collected 10,100 lbs of literature! Funny how God shows up when we give Him the opportunity. We’re renting two 10,000 lb trucks this year. ” – Luke Canup (Georgia)
Advice from other collection center volunteers
We also asked some of our current drop-off location operators what advice they would give to an individual or ministry that is thinking about establishing a collection center. Here is some of their wisdom:
“It starts small but gets bigger as you get the word out. Be ready to expand room for the materials.” – Donna Plummer (Ohio) .
“Start with boxes in your local church with labels on them (‘USED CHRISTIAN LITERATURE’), and it will start itself.” – Luke Canup (Georgia) .
“All of the effort is well worth it.” – Nancy Ashley (Missouri) .
“There’s no better way to share the gospel around the world!” – Cathy and Chester J Witten III (Maryland) .
“Do it.” – Edie Huene (Illinois)
If you have any other questions about what it’s like to run a collection center you can send us an email—or call/email one of the volunteers on our map and ask them! Remember to let us know when you’re ready to launch so we can add you to the map!