The Fuller Center for Housing has assembled 20 of the most inspiring news articles written over the past few years in an e-book called “Fuller Living” that is now available for download from the Amazon Kindle store for $2.99.
You don’t have to own a Kindle to read the book. A free Kindle app allows readers to download and enjoy the book on a multitude of devices including personal computers, Macs, iPads, iPods, iPhones, Blackberry and more. (Click here to learn about the free Kindle app and compatible devices.)
Though profits earned from each download will go to support The Fuller Center, the primary reason for the book is to spread awareness of The Fuller Center’s work and to have some of the best success stories available in one collection at people’s fingertips.
Director of Communications Chris Johnson came up with the idea a few weeks ago after seeing how easy it was to prepare and release a new e-book version of “The Best of Chris Johnson,” a collection of humor columns he had printed and released in 2010 when he worked for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer newspaper.
“One of the first things President David Snell told me when I got to The Fuller Center in June 2011 was ‘When people find out about us, they tend to like us,’ and I’ve found that to be so true,” Johnson said. “That has made my job pretty simple because I don’t have to sell The Fuller Center to anybody. I just have to help tell folks about it. And this is just another way to do that.”
Johnson said that while he personally prefers to read printed books, publishing on the Kindle format offers its own set of advantages, for writers such as himself and for others to get their stories out there.
“In our case at The Fuller Center, there was not much prep work involved because these are success stories that we’ve already done through the years,” said Johnson, who wrote 13 of the 20 stories, while five were written by former communications specialist Leah Gernetzke along with two by former communications specialist Kelli Yoder. “If there was anything difficult, it was combing through so many success stories we’ve produced through the years, including well before I got here. And that doesn’t count the hundreds done by newspapers, magazines, television stations that we don’t own the rights to.”
In addition to helping shepherd the book to the electronic bookshelf, President David Snell penned the preface to the book, while wife Sheilla Snell was instrumental in editing the book, which features articles much as they originally appeared on FullerCenter.org news feeds. The date the article was first released appears at the beginning of each chapter to provide context.
Stories told in the book include those of a blind woman in Mississippi rescued from a life of terror; a leukemia survivor helping others by riding with the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure; a church group helping a little girl get a new prosthetic leg after meeting her on a Fuller Center trip to El Salvador; a church honoring the memory of a teenage car-crash victim by building a house in her honor; a dedicated corps of volunteers still working to improve lives in late Fuller Center founder Millard Fuller’s hometown; and 15 other stories.
“From the earliest times, people have shared their history by telling stories, and the work we do here at The Fuller Center gives us great stories to tell,” David Snell said. “’Fuller Living’ shares a few of them: stories of families whose lives are forever changed and stories of the good-hearted souls who give of their time and resources to make those changes happen.
“Behind each of these stories are countless others, and we invite you to become a part of them by joining with us in this great quest to make decent shelter a reality for all of God’s children.”
Johnson was asked why people should purchase and download the book when the stories are free to read online at FullerCenter.org.
“This collection is more handy, and hopefully it will generate some funds for our operations,” he said. “But, by all means, if people would rather get the stories for free from our website, we encourage that, too. We just want to tell the story. And, indeed, when they see what all we do, they will like us.”