On Sunday, August 7, 2016, the sun shone brightly as the residents of Queens came out for the first Queens Book Festival at Kaufman Astoria Studio in Astoria, Queens. Members of the World Mission Society Church of God eagerly volunteered at this event, which was considered the “largest and most inclusive literary gathering in Queens.”

An array of people attended that day, from authors, writers and business owners. In addition to the diverse audience, about 100 Queens-based businesses supported the Festival by providing giveaways, food, and entertainment. The writers and authors also organized a panel discussion, readings for kids, book signings and workshops. The overall mission of the Queens Book Festival is to promote literacy for children in New York City and to highlight writers in the Queens Area. “The true purpose is to springboard kids into reading and aspects of literary culture,” said Johanne Civil, the Festival’s Executive Director and Founder.

There was much to do from start to finish of the event. Members from the Church of God helped arrange kiosks, set up booths, unloaded trucks with materials, arranged and distributed informational booklets and pamphlets, and most importantly greeted Festival goers with warm smiles and conversation. Ms. Civil, along with many exhibitors, expressed gratitude for the volunteers’ assistance and hard work in helping with the Festival. A member and volunteer from the Church of God, Dominique Letang, shared, “It feels great to be a part of such a great mission and to know that we helped make a difference in shedding light on the growing literacy crisis here in New York City.”

Church of God volunteers will continue to support its community by enthusiastically serving their neighbors with the heart of God the Mother.