Charity & book clubs?
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Has your book group taken on any projects, large or small, that benefit others besides yourselves? Have you sent books to Iraq or New Orleans; or had a bake sale for RIF or the people down the street whose house may have burned down. Have you volunteered at the local library sale or read to residents of an elderly care facility... How about a book-related charity project, say, in connection with reading Mountains beyond Mountains...you catch my drift, I think. Do these kind of things even belong in bookgroups?
Why don't you approach your community newspaper to profile your reading groups with the intent of getting your idea out there...one never knows, it might just make the connection you need. By chance, did your group read Black Juice by Margo Lanagan (I saw it in your library)?