“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~Howard Thurman
By Mal Keenan
One of the goals of A to Z Literacy Movement is to ship books to vulnerable children in impoverished communities. We have sent thousands of books to schools, Peace Corps volunteers, camps for kids, and orphan homes. Thanks to generous donations from people who believe in our mission, we now have plenty of high quality books to send.
The process isn’t complicated. A to Z volunteers gather books – picture books, easy readers, nonfiction, and chapter books. We sift and sort through them, deciding what’s appropriate for kids in Africa and what books will remain in the states for kids needing books locally. After being carefully sorted, the books are boxed and prepared for shipping. The boxes of children’s books are brought to the post office, where patient employees like Linda, spend a minimum of forty-five minutes weighing the boxes, processing the forms, and putting each box into an M-Bag. (Yes, I’m the person you don’t want to be standing behind in line.)
On Monday, we spent almost five hours at Every Orphan’s Hope office unpacking the books we sent earlier in the year. It was a wonderful experience going through the books once again, commenting on books we love, talking about favorite authors, and discussing how certain books have moved us. Six hundred eighteen books were numbered and catalogued for the seven (soon to be eight) orphan homes in Chongwe, ready for check out, ready to be enjoyed by children.