SonBridge Makes a Remarkable Find
GLEANER - NORTHWEST ADVENTISTS IN ACTION
2022 MAR/APR VOL.117, Nº2
UPPER COLUMBIA CONFERENCE // NEWS // MISSION & OUTREACH
In an unremarkable box of miscellaneous books, a book belonging to Mrs. Ellen G. White’s private library was discovered at SonBridge, a College Place, Washington thrift store.
SonBridge is more than a thrift store. It’s a place that provides opportunities for people to receive help while preserving their dignity. Their volunteers and staff are passionate about helping the community.
Not long ago, Connie, a SonBridge volunteer, was glancing through boxes of donated books. As always, she was sorting through ordinary, much-loved books when she picked up one that appeared more interesting than the rest. The book was titled Anecdotes and Illustrations of D. L. Moody. It was published in Chicago in 1877, and for being published 140+ years ago, it was in great shape.
The bookplate inside read, “Private Library of Mrs. E.G. White.” Below, a handwritten note said, “Presented to R. W. Munson by Elder W. C. White, June 2, 1916.” Connie wondered, “Was this the ‘real’ thing? What was the background of this book? How did it get from Ellen White’s library to SonBridge? What is the value of this book, and how do we let people know that this book is available?”
Connie showed the book to several other volunteers and employees at SonBridge, and it reminded Connie of the many people that E. G. White led to Christ and the impact she had on the world.
Norman Thiel, SonBridge Center for Better Living executive director, used the newly discovered book for a group worship. The group marveled at what good shape the book was in and wondered about its history. Many volunteers and staff at SonBridge have been greatly influenced by White’s writings and by her life, so everyone wanted to make sure this special book found a good home.
The next day, Vera Bohlman, SonBridge Thrift & Gift Store manager, showed the book to volunteers and employees. During this time of COVID-19, social distancing and not getting out much, the book really put smiles on people’s faces and created an air of mystery. What would be done with the book?
After conducting some research, SonBridge decided on an auction. Online auction bidders were very interested. In the end, a person from Silver Spring, Maryland purchased it for more than $1,000.
A good home was found, but best of all, the money received is helping to further meet the SonBridge mission and vision: To bring hope and wholeness to the Walla Walla Valley, and to build a community where God’s unconditional love is expressed through resources and services to revitalize the whole person.
No one knows what will show up at SonBridge. But one thing is certain, donations are used to bring hope and wholeness. No one knows who will show up at SonBridge. Yet, the volunteers and staff provide what is needed and make sure each person knows they are “a remarkable find.”
BETTY FARLEY SonBridge communication and development manager