Don’t ask the mountain
to move, just take a pebble
each time you visit.

John Paul Lederac

The challenges we face often feel like mountains. They loom before us, big and insurmountable. It’s tempting to keep your distance or just turn your back and hope that the mountains will magically disappear.

But the mountains will never go away if we keep our distance. We have to take a granular approach and move mountains one pebble at a time.

At the Desert Island Supply Co., our mission is to help Birmingham-area kids develop the creative tools they need to explore and document their worlds. Our main in-school program, the Woodlawn Writers Corps, delivers weekly poetry workshops to more than 500 students at Oliver Elementary, Avondale Elementary and Putnam Middle School.

Every time a student in the Corps struggles for a minute before thinking of just the right word for her poem, that’s a pebble. Every time a Corps poet stands up in front of a crowd to read his work, that’s a pebble. Every time a Corps student shows up at an after-school workshop, that’s a pebble. Every time that student brings a friend, that’s a pebble.

Working together with students, parents, teachers, volunteers, neighbors and community partners, we’re moving mountains one pebble at a time. It’s not going to be easy. They're going to take a while to move. But in the meantime, we’re building something beautiful in their shadows. 

You can help us build that beautiful something with a tax-deductible gift to the Desert Island Supply Co. Your donation will directly support the Woodlawn Writers Corps, as well as the free after-school workshops we offer. To make a donation, visit or send your donation by mail to Desert Island Supply Co., 5500 First Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35212. Thank you.

Chip Brantley & Elizabeth Hughey