Volunteers Sort and Pack Books For Africa

A trip to Uganda left Thomas Warth with an urge to do something about the empty library buildings. Due to the lack of books in Africa and his effort to give back, Warth founded Books For Africa in 1988 as a way to fill the appointed buildings with the power of the written word. Today, the Minnesota-based nonprofit, with its two warehouses based in Smyrna, has become the world’s largest shipper of books to Africa.

Last Saturday, 40 volunteers came to the organization’s 25,000-square-foot warehouse in Smyrna to sort, organize and pack donated books that will be shipped to various schools in Africa. Books are received from publishing partners, schools and libraries.

“In Africa, there is one book for every 100 students,” said Ron Woods, Director of Development and Community Relations-Atlanta. “So for a child seeing trucks coming to deliver books is the same as our experience on Christmas morning. They really look forward to this.” Books range from kindergarten/preschool material to filling law libraries, which Books For Africa helped open due to donations.