Lubbock Salvation Army volunteer says Reading with Gina is 'more

Lubbock Salvation Army volunteer says Reading with Gina is 'more than just telling a story'

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

It started as a New Year's resolution and has since grown into Gina Mendoza's passion. 

Every Tuesday evening she can be found at the Lubbock Salvation Army with a book in her hand. She said reading to the kids in the shelter is more than just telling a story. 

"I can read at school or I can read at my church, but those kids are already reached out to," she said. "These are the children that are underprivileged and they're the ones that need it vitally." 

She said she started volunteering knowing even just a simple story can make a big difference. 

"I like to read books that teach morals," she said. "Because there's kids that don't learn that and they're falling through the cracks. And it's just better to kind of just read to them." 

Each week Mendoza plans a group activity then follows up with story-time. 

"I think what's rewarding is that the moms are helping; let's paint here, lets decorate here. And it's bonding time here for them," she said. 

Kids attending the program range in age which means it can be a challenge when picking a focus.

"Every week you have to kind of set a story that's going to reach a big range of ages," she said. "Sometimes you have teenagers and little ones, and sometimes you just have the middle kids." 

It only took a few months for Mendoza to think outside the box. She said her next goal is to inspire others to get involved. 

"It's awesome," she smiled. "It's like you have to let your light shine and light someone else's. Then if that happens in the community then you can make a difference." 

 

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