Tag Archives: Charity

Review: Feeding Dangerously by José Andrés, Steve Orlando, and Alberto Ponticelli

Feeding Dangerously by José Andrés, Steve Orlando, and Alberto Ponticelli

Feeding Dangerously: On the Ground with José Andrés and World Central Kitchen
José Andrés and Steve Orlando
Illustrated by Alberto Ponticelli
TKO Studios
Published January 10, 2024

Amazon | World Central Kitchen | Goodreads

About Feeding Dangerously: On the Ground with José Andrés and World Central Kitchen

Join Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen for the incredible story of how their mission began and expanded across the globe, serving millions of meals in the most dangerous conditions to bring comfort and hope, one plate at a time.

Natural disasters strike in all corners of the world, relentless and massive in strength. When relief pours in, it’s often focused on supplies, medicine, and reconstruction. Food is so often an afterthought. Who feeds the survivors? Who feeds the first responders? And how can a simple dish rebuild a devastated community?

My Review

World Central Kitchen is one of the charities our family has supported multiple times (and will continue to support), so when I saw this book coming out, I knew I wanted to read it. The images are so colorful, and the text reads as if you’re reading an interview with José Andrés, so it feels very personal.

I’m not sure what I was expecting in terms of a story. I wondered if it would be the equivalent of a memoir but about World Central Kitchen, how it was formed, the places they’ve gone, and how the operations grew.

And it does have a lot of those facts. The book is broken into sections about different places: California, North Carolina, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and the Bahamas. A thread connects each place as José Andrés talks about a fire kindled in him as a child while he watched his father make meals in the mountains, inviting others to join him and always adding more rice to the pan. Through that experience, he learned to value feeding others and to control the fire within him so that he could always do more.

I am already so inspired and in awe of World Central Kitchen, so I feel like this book didn’t have to go far to impress and inspire me. It definitely does those things.

The book itself is pretty huge. The hardcover version is about 12.25″ wide and 9.25″ tall, so it’s sized to be used more like a coffee table book. Displaying the book would be a neat way to start conversations about WCK and what they do.

Currently, $3 from each ebook purchase goes to support World Central Kitchen.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

José Andrés is originally from Spain and also American. His crew are representative of a diverse group of people.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Some panels show devastation left behind after hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes. The text mentions that people died, and rescue efforts became recovery efforts once time passed.

Drug Content

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog.

Many Thanks for Your Support

An Anniversary Celebration and a Chance to Support a Valuable Mission

In March, to celebrate the anniversary of The Story Sanctuary, I held an auction to raise money for Christian World Mission in Chile to provide funds for school children. Four book boxes went up for auction on ebay. Through a combination of that ebay auction and word-of-mouth, all four boxes were sold, raising a total of $150 for Christian World Mission. Yay!

The Giving Continues…

Two of the boxes were donated back to The Story Sanctuary for use as giveaway prizes.

These boxes are packed with tasty snacks and other fun goodies as well as at least three clean YA novels. Sign up quick because this giveaway ends Sunday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Many thanks for your support!

Interview with the Founder of Sentences: A Book Donation Ministry

A few months ago, Clinton Festa contacted me with an opportunity to help promote an unusual ministry he’s begun. Sentences is a ministry through which books are donated to prisons and detention centers around the United States. Clinton joins me today to give us more information about what he’s doing and why it’s important. Thanks, Clinton!

What led you to form this sort of ministry/charity? How long has Sentences been in operation?

In October 2013 I started learning more about prison life from some documentaries. I was surprised to learn that some inmates in Indiana are given the privilege of having pet cats and video games. Most of the times though, in most prisons, reading is the main form of recreation on a short list of options. I started looking into donating books to prison libraries, and was surprised how difficult it was to find that information. Some third party sites have the info online, but too often it’s just a prison address. You can’t donate that way; your donation may be rejected if not submitted properly. Often it needs a donation form, so you have to do your research. After a lot of effort, I finally found the info to donate to one prison. I asked what they needed, went to Goodwill, then the post office. If you ask for the media rate from the USPS, the whole thing can cost around $20. And it was fun. Picking up books from a thrift store, packaging them, and sending them off. But it still costs $20, and I can’t do that for every prison in the country. I thought I could start a more efficient way of getting it done. So, in January I started a Facebook site and a Goodreads group with the concept that I would research, then post the specific needs and donation instructions for various prisons. I’ve got a handful posted right now, but really I need to start getting more followers for the site to work. The idea is that if someone ‘likes’ the Facebook page or joins the Goodreads group, they’ll be notified when I make a new posting. Or they can always browse recent postings. Then, with enough followers, someone’s bound to recognize that they have some used books in a category that a prison really needs. They would then mail them off directly to the prison with the instructions I provide. If I get enough followers for the concept to work, it could really be an effective and efficient way of getting books off your shelf into the hands of people who would greatly appreciate it. You can even donate old comic books to a juvenile detention center I’ve got posted. The prison librarians have all been extremely appreciative as well. It’s difficult to hear year after year, in some cases, that they don’t have any money in the budget for new books… again.

How many books have been donated to prison libraries due to the efforts of this group?

I think of that in terms of pounds, not number of books, just because I’m more likely to feel it when I pick up a box than I am to count the books inside. So far, several hundred pounds. I’ve got one picture on the Facebook page of about six big boxes all from one donor. That was great. If you count the local book drive I’m doing through my church for the local JD Center, it’s been a lot. However, I wouldn’t know exactly how many books have been donated by followers of the site unless they report back to me, which isn’t necessary. But through the site, other than the one person with six boxes, the answer is ‘not many.’ I’ll stick with my local book drive through the church, which has been hugely successful, but gaining some ‘likes’ on FB and members on GR is really the key.

Why is there such a great need to send books to prison inmates?

Great question, thank you! Prisoners on death row in Texas, according to one documentary I’ve read, are in their cell, alone, for 22 hours a day. They need mental relief and escape. For those who are eventually getting out of prison, it goes beyond recreation. They typically ask for books on starting your own business, which makes sense, because it can be difficult to get through a job interview if you’ve been incarcerated. They also often ask for study books to help in getting your GED, and similar study books. When they ask for books like those, they’re trying to make the most of their time in prison. What if they don’t have those books? And, from a religious perspective… well, I think it’s obvious, the benefits to the donor and the receiver. I once sent a book with calculus study problems in a box to a prison in Arizona, not thinking anything of it. The prison librarian, an employee, responded to say thank you. He told me that a clerk, an inmate, had been praying a lot recently for a calculus book. When the box came in the mail, to him, that one book was an answer to his prayers.

What types of books do you recommend donating?

It varies from prison to prison, based on funding, size of the facility, and location. My FB and GR links have the specifics. But common needs are: any popular stuff that we’d read out of prison, books on starting your own business, study guide books that help toward GED, Westerns (which aren’t that popular outside prison anymore, so they can often be found in the discount bin), and, near the US/Mexico border, Spanish language reading and Spanish language Bibles. Those can be surprisingly hard to find.

 What sorts of books should we avoid donating?

That varies a lot from prison to prison. Specifics are with each posting I do. Some prisons won’t take hardbacks. Some won’t take any books with images, because they get ripped out and used as cell-art. But, some are more lenient about that stuff. There are definitely some books that no prison will accept, though you probably don’t have many books in this category. That includes racially charged material, violent or sexually graphic literature, books on how to escape from prison (obvious), books on how to make poison and weapons out of common items (darn it), and, somewhat surprisingly, books on travel that include road maps and Atlases. Though that last one makes sense when you think about it. I have yet to come across a prison that would contact you and ask any questions if you accidentally donated a book in those categories, though. Every one I’ve posted and every one I anticipate would just reject the book, meaning it gets recycled or trashed (don’t expect to get it back). Also, it doesn’t do much good to send them a book on gardening, or making pottery, when they don’t have any way of fulfilling that.

What are your goals for this group? Where would you like to see this organization go in the next five years?

I’d love to have enough people following the group, whether that’s 100 dedicated donors, 1,000 occasional donors, or however the numbers have to work out, to be able to make a call to a prison librarian, get all the donation instructions, then make a posting, and have that result in a few batches of books from around the country be sent to that prison. I’d make 1-3 postings a month, giving each prison some time at the top. And people could always review past postings. But again, the key is getting people to ‘like’ the Facebook page or join the ‘Goodreads’ group, so please do! If all else fails, the local book drive has been great. But it’s finite, and only goes to one facility. The online concept could get books moving across the country.

Ways to Support Sentences:

Like Sentences page on Facebook.

Follow Sentences on Goodreads.

Check these pages for more information on how to donate to some specific detention centers and for general donation guidelines.

Did you donate?

If you’ve supported this ministry in the past or are ready to box up some books to send, let us know!

The Blessing of Books with Colleen Shine Phillips

Appreciating the Little Things

While thinking about how to start this blog post, something popped into my mind: how it’s so part of our nature to take things for granted. We expect the sun to rise every morning. If we have running water, we expect it to come out of the pipe when we open the spigot. If you live in the Western World, you might add driving to work every day, obtaining the latest technology, or ordering anything you want from Amazon. But after living in Chile for thirty-seven years, I’ve learned to be grateful for little things. Amazing as it might sound, one of those little things is books.

What if New Books Weren’t a Few Clicks Away?

Here, having a book is a commodity. It seems to be especially true for young people. Native authors don’t target that audience, so books are imported. The tax factored into the price of a book is twenty-five percent. That’s on top of shipping. Given that reality, street vendors have taken to pirating obligatory reading books or the whole class photocopies the one tome available in the library.(Toss to the wind any copyright laws!) Of course this messes with supply and demand, thus fostering continued high prices. The epitome of a vicious cycle.

Even more tragic, kids here in Chile don’t read except what is absolutely mandatory and even at that look for a way to get around it. Perhaps that would change books were more attainable. Or if authors would write quality, value-infused books for our young people. Or that students would be encouraged to seek writing as a viable career.

Hope for the Future

It’s my dream to change this reality in our schools. A law to eradicate tax on books is in the making. If it passes, will things change? I don’t know that, either. I believe it’s a thing of attitude, of education.

Colleen, her husband Steve and their three children.

So, never take anything as simple as a book for granted. It is a jewel, a thing to be treasured. A true blessing.

Thanks so much for inviting me, Kasey. I pray that someday we will need a blog like yours in Spanish to review all the books pouring in for our young people.

Colleen Shine Phillips
Colleen and her husband Steve have lived and served God in Chile for over 37 years in church and school ministries. Colleen’s short stories have appeared in Clubhouse Magazine.

It’s Kasey Again
Thanks, Colleen, for sharing your heart with us!

How We Can Help

For two more days, the four book boxes are available for bidding on eBay. Remember – each bid equals one entry for a free $50 Amazon gift card! All proceeds will go to the Christian World Mission in Chile to buy much-needed materials for students.



Support Children in Chile and Get Great Books!

There’s still time to bid on the book boxes listed on eBay. All materials for the boxes have been donated and proceeds will go directly to the Christian World Mission for use in their school programs in Chile.

Christian World Mission Faces Great Need

The newest school, located in La Serena still faces great need in terms of building and construction materials. Steve Phillips, an administrator over all ten schools operated by Christian World Mission in Chile says, “We still need two more classrooms and to finish an assembly room. The support and roof structure is built, but we lack the walls, bathrooms, and kitchen. The total cost is about $40,000 dollars…”

Bid on Boxes Today for a Chance to Win a FREE $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Each bid on any box will count as one entry for a free $50 Amazon gift card. Place four bids and earn four contest entries!

There are only a couple more days until the auction closes. Let’s show support for those who dedicate their lives and time to teaching little ones who would otherwise fall between the cracks.

Click the image below to visit the auction on eBay and place your bids!


Support Christian Schools in Chile and Impact the Lives of Thousands

In yesterday’s post, I introduced Christian World Mission, a group responsible for administering ten schools and over 6,000 students. Today, Steve Phillips shares with us some more information about the students who will receive financial support from the Book Box Auction taking place now on eBay:

“If these 6,000 students I mentioned did not study with us, most would have to plug into the public school system which, in the past 30 years, has continued to crumble, offering a very poor and valueless education. This leaves most students without hope of college education and only minimum job opportunities. Of central importance, they would not get a Christian Education and the opportunity for them and their families to know and follow our Jesus.

On the other hand, nearly all our graduates go on to higher education and enter into the main stream of employment including lawyers, doctors, engineers, pastors, missionaries, teachers…..nearly anything on the professional job spectrum. Several thousand have graduated over the years.

“Of course, we will really never know the depth of width of influence. I can’t even count how many have come back to express their gratitude for the education and values they received. We do know that the children are the best missionaries in their families. This, combined with the church growth around the schools, has evidenced a dynamic growth of the Evangelical Protestant Church in Chile. I have no doubt that starting schools has done more to plant churches than our original plans. Thousands have come to Christ as a result of the church/school combination of evangelism and training.”

Make a Difference to Children in Chile

Four book boxes each filled with snacks and popular YA novels have been donated to help raise money for the Christian World Mission school ministry. Apart from the shipping costs, all proceeds go directly to the ministry to benefit the children and families they serve. Featured today is the Fantasy Haven Book Box, found here on eBay.

Haunters by Thomas Taylor
“Haunters is peppered with interesting characters and early teen awkwardness as scenes flip back and forth between modern day and World War II ravaged London. Tension mounts as David’s quest becomes more urgent, making this a difficult novel to put down, once one reaches its midpoint.” – from the review on The Story Sanctuary.

Merlin’s Blade by Robert Treskillard
“Treskillard weaves a fascinating tale and leaves the reader piqued for the next installment in the series. The last hundred pages moved especially quickly, pulling the reader through the tale with scarcely time for a breath.” – from the review on The Story Sanctuary

A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr
“Carr’s deft and thoughtful storytelling can’t help but leave readers eager for the next chapter in the fascinating world he’s created. Errol’s unexpected and expertly crafted transformation from cowardice to heroism makes this novel both moving and memorable.” – from the review on The Story Sanctuary (will post in April)