Books are Bound for Africa

Read the full story here!

When things are easily accessible, it’s easy to take them for granted.

Take electricity and clean water, for example. Most of us never stop to question how these crucial services are made available to us. But there they are.

Books are items many of us take for granted and cast aside as our connection to the internet intensifies. In places like Africa, however, books are a precious commodity.

Books For Africa—a nonprofit dedicated to collecting, sorting, shipping and distributing books to people who don’t have access to them—has sent more than 50 million donated text and library books to all 55 countries in Africa since the organization was founded in 1988.

Agoura High School students Brittney Nial and Helena DeLoof organized a recent collection drive for Books For Africa.

“We were shocked by the strength and passion with which this community came together,” Brittney said.

“We collected 9,000 textbooks, medical books, children’s literature, fiction and nonfiction books to be distributed to hundreds of small library building projects in Africa.”

The event took place two weekends last month at Evenstar Park in Westlake Village, Oakbrook Neighborhood Park and Chumash Park in Agoura Hills.

“We saw strangers pull up with trunkloads of books. We saw doctors review all their materials and come in with hundreds of books. We saw teenagers offer up their entire weekends to volunteer at book drop off locations,” the 18-year-old said.

The book drive is winding down and all materials are being stored in local garages while a new search begins for the money needed to ship them all.

“We currently need $3,000 left of roughly $5,000 to ship all these books to library building projects in schools and villages in Africa. There is nothing more that we want than to get every donated book where it belongs,” said the Westlake Village resident.

Each book costs 50 cents to send, so the students have decided to run fundraisers via restaurants this month with another group that has also adopted their cause.

“We have partnered with the school club Music Uniting Societies Everywhere as independent students can’t do restaurant fundraisers,” Brittney said.