Community Rallies Together To Save A Very Special Book Store

last update 11/14/2017, 08:53 PM
Community Rallies Together To Save A Very Special Book Store

Anyone who has ever read a book and have felt it change them knows how powerful the written word can be. Russell Wattenburg knows all about that power.



He doesn't claim to be a talented writer, and he knows he doesn't have the patience to teach somebody to read. But he wanted to find a way to spread the joy of reading.




So he decided to take an old empty warehouse and turn into into 'the Book Thing'. It may look like a library or a bookstore, but the Book Thing is neither of those things. You can take the books home with you but you don't have to return them and you certainly shouldn't pay. See all of the books in the Book thing are donated so they are free.




Russell jokes that the business model really "cuts down on robberies." And every day when Russell opens his doors people are lined up to take home a new adventure in the form of a book. Last March when a fire destroyed the Book Thing Russell thought it would be the end. But the people of Baltimore had other plans.




Before he knew it Russell was drowning in boxes upon boxes of donated books. People from all around felt a hole in their hearts when the Book Thing was gone and knew the community needed it back.




And seeing how they banded together to make a difference is truly inspiring. I'm so glad this incredible institution is getting a new chapter.


Christian Dad Helped Hurricane Victims, Then Flesh-Eating Bacteria Claims Life

When this 31-year-old family man helped Hurricane Harvey victims rebuild, he didn't know that his life was in danger. Josue contracted an infection from flesh-eating bacteria in the waters while helping others.


credit: Josue Zurita family


Josue Zurita was a devoted Christian and loving family man. Originally from Mexico, Josue came to the United States to help provide for his family. While here, he was eager to work and help those around him.



Unexpected Consequence

After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Josue quickly went to work to help the victims rebuild. As a carpenter, he used his skills to rebuild the homes lost during the storms.


"It's most likely [Josue's] infection occurred where bacteria from Harvey debris or floodwater entered his body through a wound or cut," Dr. Philip Keiser, Galveston County Local Health Authority, said in a news release.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a bacterial infection that attacks the body. The bacteria infection kills surrounding tissue, fat, or nerve cells. This type of flesh-eating bacteria infection is rare. However, it's commonly found in post-hurricane waters.


RELATED: Stranger’s Random Act Of Kindness For A Couple Fleeing From Hurricane Irma


In Josue's case, the bacteria began eating away at his upper arm. He went to Jennie Sealy Hospital in Galveston on October 10 but it was too late. Sadly, he passed away less than a week later.


“It's unbelievable,” said Brenda Avalos, a family friend. “We still don't accept that he's not here.” 


credit: Josue Zurita family


Remembering Josue

The obituary shared about Josue's life and deep love for his family. Josue's family and friends remember him as a "loyal friend and devoted Christian father".


"He remained to help with the rebuilding after hurricane Harvey that hit Harris and Galveston Counties," it reads. "While working the current rebuilding efforts he was struck with an illness that claimed his life. He will be remembered as a loyal friend and devoted Christian father who remained faithful to his Catholic Faith."

A GoFund Me account was set up for his funeral expenses.


The CDC urges anyone in hurricane-affected areas to remember to keep wound care of utmost importance. Wash hands and any exposed skin immediately with soap and warm water.  Keep wounds clean and bandaged.


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Credit: GoFundMe (Colette with Jordyn) / Reuters/Nick Oxford (flooding)


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