Today, Community Action of Southern Kentucky's Head Start in Edmonson County was officially adopted into Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Program in memory of Stoy E. Browning who passed away May 19, 2014. Made possible by a generous memorial contribution, all children that currently participate in the local Head Start will be enrolled in the program. After today, each child will receive one book per month mailed directly to their home until they reach the age of 5, at no cost to the family. Thus far, more than 42,900 books have been mailed to over 2,900 children in surrounding counties.
Laura Thomas, Director of Edmonson County's Head Start said the impact in the local program would be huge. "Things like this don't often happen here. Sometimes we get overlooked because we're a small county," she said. "We're very appreciative to the Browning family for doing this. For some of these kids, that means as many as 24 new books."
United Way of Southern Kentucky Board of Director Member and Edmonson County resident Craig Browning was humbled for he and his family to be part of the gift. "It's a very special opportunity to benefit these children," he said. The opportunity to give the gift of reading, especially this time of year, through the memorial fund that many contributed to is a very special moment." He also said that his late father, Stoy Browning, would have enjoyed watching the children with their new books. "Christmas was his favorite time of the year, and watching kids enjoy gifts was special to him," Browning said. "He would've been very pleased to see them opening their first book this morning."
United Way Staff members gift wrapped each book and volunteers on hand passed out the books, along with the Browning family, to each child in attendance today.
Browning said he has hopes of soon seeing a United Way campaign in Edmonson County. He said that it's one of the most powerful tools for investing back into the community. Within the past year alone, the organization has given approximately $20,000 to Edmonson County programs like the Family Resource Center, Adult Education, Adult Daycare, and more. "This money was raised by Edmonson County folks that work for a company outside the county that participates in United Way campaigns," he said. "Imagine how much more money could be brought to our communities if we also did that right here."
If you or your employer are interested in learning more about how United Way can work for your Edmonson County communities, click here for more info.
Darren Doyle, Story and Photos