Mission trip brings Marriott full circle

Published 7:04 am Wednesday, September 10, 2008

By By Lydia Grimes
The Brewton Standard

Deborah Marriott, former principal of Brewton Elementary School, thought her work with books was over.
Little did she know that a trip to Costa Rica this past spring would lead her to another trip this summer.
Marriott, a member of First United Methodist Church of Brewton went to Costa Rica in April with a group of 24 from the church to take wheelchairs to donate to those who needed them. This wheelchair mission was an eye-opening experience for Marriott.
She became acquainted with the group Give-a-book Foundation while she was in Costa Rica. Since Marriott has spent her professional life working with books, the Give-a-book Foundation seemed to be just what she was looking for.
Give-a-Book partners individuals, organizations, churches and businesses with schools and pre-schools to provide books to children. Some of those books are the only ones the children have ever owned.
There are an estimated 61 percent of low-income families who have no children’s books in the home. It is the hope of Give-a-Book to increase the world’s children literacy skills. The books are bought by Give-a-Book Foundation with the monetary help they receive. They carefully select appropriate books at a nominal price.
After learning what she needed to do, Marriott took a big step by traveling all the way back to Costa Rica to help distribute books to children.
Marriott was the only one who traveled from Brewton, but she did meet up with others in Atlanta who were going to help with the books.
Their mission one Sunday was to visit a place where nuns look after children who have severe mental problems. The next day they worked in the book warehouse and then went to the orphanage where the nuns look after children (age 3 to 13) who have been separated from their families. These children are now available for adoption in the United States.
On Wednesday, they traveled to Selva Verde and carried books to four schools there.
The group left Selva Verde and headed to the Sarapiqui River. There at the river they met Ruth and her husband, Carlos. Ruth has a floating library on an old banana boat. She and her husband use the boat to carry books to those villages along the river.