Since the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, schools across the region have closed — leaving children without access to traditional education opportunities and the moral support teachers provide during times of crisis.
So when we received a call from our friends at the International Book Bank and the We Care Foundation and Library asking to include books in schooling kits they were creating, we jumped at the chance. Kids were waiting. They needed out help.
Within hours, we began a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to send as many books as possible, with a minimum goal of $5,000.
Thanks to generous support from individuals and partners like C&S Wholesale Grocers, Lee & Low Books, The NEA Foundation, Penguin Random House and Townsend Press, we ended up raising enough funds to send more than 40,000 brand new books (with a retail value of more than $320,000) to children in Liberia.
“We know books provide educational opportunities,” said Chandler Arnold, First Book’s Chief Operating Officer, “But in times of trauma they also provide comforting bedtime stories, moments of family togetherness and the chance for children to temporarily escape from a frightening situation”
The books, now on their way to children and families in the affected area, will accompany child-focused information about preventing the spread of the disease.
“When our partner Michael Weah, director of the We-Care Foundation and Library in Monrovia, Liberia, asked us for a donation of books to be packaged up and hand-delivered to children locked out of school for a year or more due to the Ebola outbreak, we couldn’t say no,” said Brigid McDonnell, Program Director at International Book Bank. “These books not only serve as critical educational tools, but also provide entertainment and escape for kids that desperately need it. It was a pleasure for the International Book Bank to work with First Book on this donation!”
To continue to help get books to kids in need throughout the country and internationally, donate to First Book today.