Thursday, March 22, 2012

We're Building a Library!

What? How are you doing that?

Recently we learned about an organization called The African Library Project. This non-profit brings gently used books to an African community that has lots of eager readers but very few books. I don't know what it was about this particular cause that grabbed me... maybe it's my own life-long love of books and reading, or how I now see my own kids learning to read and loving books, but I was immediately captivated by the idea of joining in.

Books en-route to Mohale's Hoek High School in Lesotho
It only takes 1000 books and $500 - $600 to build a library... That seemed doable!

When I talked to Aaron about it, he was immediately on board as well. Since he has spent time in Africa and has a good friend who is from Lesotho, he definitely has a soft spot in his heart for Africa. So I got in touch with the people at the African Library project. They assigned us to a book drive project, and we were ready to get started! We learned that we will be gathering donations for a secondary school in Africa. We haven't been matched with a specific school yet, but we anxiously await that information. In the meantime, we're going to move forward.

Here are some ways that you can help...

Would you like to help build a library? There are lots of simple things you could do. Donate books; donate money; ask others to donate books or money; give us ideas for a fundraising event; put up posters or flyers around your neighborhood; donate packing supplies; or whatever else you can come up with!

Our book drive is for a secondary school library, so we need gently-used books at a U.S. 4th grade to 8th grade reading level. (If you're unsure of the reading level of a book, look it up on You can almost always find it there.) Books about Africa or African-Americans are great, but any book you can donate is wonderful. Schools in Lesotho teach English as a primary language, so English-language books are just what they need.

Here's how you can contribute your books...

Get your books to us any way you can. We'll take them at work, at church, at school, on the street, or when you run into us at Target. You can drop them by our house. You can mail them to us (media mail is fairly inexpensive). If you're feeling generous, you can buy a new book online and have it delivered to our house. Anything goes!

We need to raise funds for shipping the books...

We also need to raise $500-$600 for shipping costs. If you don't have books to donate, consider making a small donation. Hey, even if you've got books to donate, consider making a small donation! Even $1 helps.

You can donate here:

Or stop us when you see us and share your spare change. :) We also plan to set up some fundraising events to raise money for shipping. We will keep you updated on those!

What's in it for me?

Boys from Lesotho enjoy Dr. Suess' 500 Hats!
The satisfying feeling of helping others! A little bit of recognition - we'll keep a list of all contributors so we can thank you along the way. Also, please send a photo of yourself or your family when you make a donation. We'll send the photos along with the books so our school in Lesotho can get to know us a little bit. A great family activity - gathering books to donate would make a great family home evening! A chance to declutter - don't we all have some extra books lying around that we could stand to clear out? And even a tax deduction - The African Library Project is a registered 501(c)3 organization (Fed Tax ID# 65-1261685). Let us know if you need a receipt for your donation.

Contact us to find out more...

You can reach me by phone or email or by leaving a comment on the blog. I'll get back to you with more information just as soon as I can!

About the African Library Project...

Learn more about the African Library Project at
You can 'like' them at - get updates, inspiration and more!

No comments: