Thanks to the generosity, hard work and willingness of so many neighbors, family and friends, 64 big, beautiful boxes of gently used children’s and young adult books are on their way to Ghana, Africa. They left Rockaway Beach on Friday morning to start their long voyage across the oceans to Accra.
My friend, Susy, and I volunteer for Nurturing Nations (www.nurturingnations.org) and we couldn’t have done this without the help of St. Francis de Sales National Junior Honor Society, under the direction of Ms. Killian and Danielle; Cindy at New Jersey libraries; Pastor Joyce and our friends at First Congregational Church; and Daniel and Declan, who did heavy lifting. And thanks also go to Elania who unpacked donations and sorted according to age, and to Fran and her perseverance with the toddler books. We are grateful for the help of the Ocean Bliss yogis with their enthusiasm and endurance at the boxing day, the generosity of new Hoboken and Scarsdale friends, book clubs, the kind elders from the Church of Latter Day Saints, Emily and her graphic design skills, Isabella who uncomplainingly shifted bags and boxes, Steve who drove through industrial Secaucus to collect 10 boxes of books from a stranger’s garage, and the patience of family who had faith that one day the 4000 plus books would be leaving the living room!
Nurturing Nations, along with a school and residential campus, built a rural library in Assin Adadientem in 2016. The library needed books, as there is a book famine in Africa. In 2017, we shipped out 38 boxes and loved seeing the videos of the villagers as they opened them and gently organized the books on the shelves.
For some, it was the first time they had seen or touched a book. We heard that the library has become a community focal point, with lines forming each day, even before it opens. Literacy is up and the children’s school grades are improving. We wanted to fill all of the shelves and knew that we had to track down more books we had enjoyed and didn’t need any more, knowing that they would continue to benefit others and be loved and cherished.
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