Gainesville, Florida - January 7, 2014
African Libraries Get Gainesville Books
Habitat Bookworms is shipping books to Africa and needs your help!
Habitat Bookworms, the staff and volunteers of the Book Department at the Alachua Habitat for Humanity ReStore - in conjunction with the African Library Project - is gathering and packing books. $500 for shipping will make Alachua County’s first library in Africa possible!
Habitat Bookworms’ first shipment will be sent to Ghana, in Western Africa. Habitat Bookworms expects to follow up with additional shipments as supplies and funds allow.
In Sub-Sahara Africa widespread poverty conditions are the norm. Many people are living barely at a subsistence level, existing on incomes of less than $2 per day. In rural African communities the overwhelming majority of the populace live as subsistence farmers in homes that often lack electricity and running water.
Habitat International is a nonprofit organization founded in 1976 that believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. Habitat has helped build or repair more than 800,000 houses and served more than 4 million people around the world.
The African Library Project was founded in 2005 with the purpose of establishing libraries in rural Africa. The African Library Project mobilizes volunteers in the USA to organize book drives to gather useful materials and raise money for shipping. The ALP partners with organizations in Africa that establish and maintain the rural libraries. Since the organization’s founding over a thousand libraries have been established and more than a million books have been shipped with many more on the way!
The Alachua Habitat for Humanity ReStore serves as a fundraising mechanism for Alachua Habitat for Humanity. At 2317 SW 13th Street in Gainesville, Florida, the ReStore sells gently used furniture and household goods, second hand clothing as well as building supplies at greatly discounted prices. This model provides low cost basic needs to the community, reduces the flow of materials that may otherwise end up in landfills and raises money for local building projects. A percentage of the ReStore’s income goes directly to Habitat International to fund the work done worldwide.
For the last two years, the ReStore has significantly expanded the display and sales of books. The book department now consists of over 600 square feet of the store, raising around $4,500 per month.
Recently, the large supply of books has been supplemented with the help of the Friends of the Library, as well as many donations directly from members of the community. With this opportunity, the ReStore has culled many of its older stock of books to make room for the new supplies. Many of these are now earmarked for the African Library Project.
The goal of providing the basis of life beyond poverty includes both a healthy living environment and culture that includes literacy and educational opportunities. The work of Habitat for Humanity and the African Library Project dovetail nicely. Both organizations have an active presence in Malawi, Ghana and Zambia. These are each countries where English is the official language or the primary language of education.
The Habitat Bookworms are seeking donations to cover the shipping costs of our part in this project. The books will be boxed at the ReStore, mailed to the ALP warehouse in New Orleans and then sent by cargo ship to a distribution point in Africa. The cost of shipping a load of 1000 books is $500 or a mere 50 cents per book! Checks can be made out to Alachua Habitat for Humanity. Please designate African Library Project on the check’s memo line. Cash donations are, of course, accepted as well.
This is one more case of small change making big changes; As the Habitat Bookworms are inclined to say, “Building Community One Book at A Time!” or as the African Library Project slogan says, “Changing Lives Book By Book”. To help, please contact the Alachua Habitat ReStore.
Harold Baranoff, Book Department Manager
Alachua Habitat, 2317 SW 13th Street, Gainesville, Florida 32608
Phone: 352-373-5728 Cell: 352-870-0384
Find the Habitat Bookworms on Facebook @ Habitat Bookworms
The African Library Project can be found on the web @ http://www.africanlibraryproject.org/