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March 23, 2014

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March 23, 2014

I've done six book drives now, with my most recent soon to be on its way to Ghana. This is a project that connects children, communities, and people in the US and in Africa with one another. I typically solicit donations from people at work, from schools, and from my community. I always meet new people and am able to spread the joy that comes from making a real difference in the world with this project. Being a hardcore bookworm, it is by far my favorite, and the most impactful work I do. The best part is the light on people's faces when they bring me their book selections; those who love to read love to share that with others, and knowing these may well be the first books children receive is all the more precious.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to spread the word. It is easier and more fulfilling than you might think to start a book drive.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

September 6, 2013

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September 6, 2013

Running a book drive for African Library Project was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had as a volunteer. I received letters from teachers, librarians, and the school principal about how excited they were to receive the books I would be sending. African Library Project does a fantastic job at finding people and schools who will really appreciate the effort of volunteers and will put the books to good use. The fact that African Library Project is completely volunteer-run never ceases to amaze me. Anyone who has the time and the resources should hold a book drive!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

July 4, 2013

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July 4, 2013

The African Library Project has a unique and tremendously effective relationship with African partners in six (and counting!) countries. It is this partnership, along with model of organizing book drives in the U.S. to supply beautiful, gently used books to rural schools and communities in Africa that led me to be on the ALP board for six years and continue involvement as a volunteer and donor. Can you imagine an all-volunteer organization that can establish over 1,000 libraries in just seven years -- with lots of book-drive organizers thanking ALP for the privilege of collecting books and funds for shipping them? And wanting to do another book drive? This happens often because the process is fun and rewarding, and it works.

ALP's African partners are dedicated in receiving the book shipping containers, delivering them to the new school and community libraries, training the teacher-librarians, and following up. I have visited dozens of the libraries with ALP-donated books and seen the pleasure and learning the books bring to African children and adults.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Spread the word even more about the joy of giving books a second life in Africa and promote more messages/videos from ALP's African partners and post them on ALP's website and Facebook pages.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 23, 2013

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June 23, 2013

My experience with the African Library Project has been life-changing, not only for myself but for the hundreds of thousands of children in Africa over the next couple generations that will benefit from our efforts. The book drive I was a part of collected over 55,000 children's books, starting 47.5 libraries throughout 5 different countries of Africa. While the collection of books and funds to ship comes from book drives like ours, it takes an organization like the African Library Project to centralize these efforts and coordinate the logistics behind such a monumental project. They have sparked an educational revolution and created a streamlined process to provide a vital cornerstone of education to schools that otherwise wouldn't have any books. My experiences with the African Library Project have shaped the leader I am today, while helping spread literacy abroad.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Amplify publicity efforts to get this organization a wider reach and ultimately improve the impacts they have in Africa.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 5, 2013

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June 5, 2013

Our family of 5 just completed our first library through the ALP. It is humbling how very little it takes to make such a difference in the lives of children. Thank you, ALP, for the opportunity to serve! It was an incredible experience, and I'm sure we'll be volunteering again soon.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 4, 2013

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June 4, 2013

ALP makes it so easy to see a positive impact and results in service. Our 5th grader coordinated a book drive at his intermediate school and the response was overwhelming. The students really relate to the need for books and the critical role of reading in a child's life. His classmates struggled to find age-appropriate service projects of their own, so many of them joined in on his packing party and brought books, supplies and a giving spirit. ALP's directions and guidance made all the difference. We could never do this alone without ALP's structure in place. It's easy, effective, and leave a permanent and lasting effect on the world. What could be better!?

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 25, 2013

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May 25, 2013

I signed up for my first library through the African Library Project over a year ago, with the shipment date last May 15. Just today I delivered my 8th African library to the post office to begin its journey to Malawi. This organization is completely run by volunteers on the US, so there's no money going into someone's pocket somewhere. Impressively, ALP partners with NGOs in the destination countries to ensure that the books shipped actually become functioning libraries.
I had to stop working due to health reasons, and collecting, cleaning, sorting, packing and shipping books for the libraries can be done when and how I am able: I get to volunteer in a meaningful way without having to go to meetings, deal with politics, or be expected to show up on a regular basis. The organization-level volunteers take care of all the nitty-gritty organizational things so I get to focus solely on assembling and sending libraries to schools and communities who have few to no books. What an honor and pleasure!
Since I'm an individual contributor, I buy the majority of the books I send, although I do accept (and receive) donations from friends, relatives and sometimes from strangers. Something that feels good to me is that the books I buy mostly come from organizations I am happy to support: our local public library, hospice and free clinic; ARC, United Cerebral Palsy, the American Cancer Society, and a local charity thrift shop that helps support the battered women's shelter and other worthy causes. So my purchases are win-win, helping my local community and helping to transform communities in several African countries (Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho and Ghana so far, for me).
As a lifelong reader and book lover who wants to do something meaningful, it doesn't get much better than this!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Set up a system for library donors to be informed when their libraries reach their final destination. Otherwise, no changes. The organization is wonderful, giving help where needed, allowing as much choice as possible, and staying in the background otherwise. I love working through the African Library Project.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 5, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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1 previous review
September 25, 2012

My participation in the African Library Project has been one of my most rewarding and joyful life experiences. I have often seen a need, but found little I could offer beyond giving money. To be abl... more

April 5, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I have never been able to have the direct, positive impact on others that I have experienced with the African Library Project. Being able to create school libraries, where there are none, and, thereby, improve the standard of living and quality of life of children has been extremely rewarding for me. We can personally make the world a better place. Additionally, all the staff for the African Library Project is volunteers. So any funds raised go directly to creating libraries and helping children.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 25, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

My participation in the African Library Project has been one of my most rewarding and joyful life experiences. I have often seen a need, but found little I could offer beyond giving money. To be able to directly help make a difference in the world, make a difference in the lives of children, is a rare and wonderful opportunity. The gift in personal satisfaction is far greater than any contribution I could make. Count me in to be with the African Library Project as long as there are kids who need book.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 17, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

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October 17, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

African Library Project has made such an impact in my life. I am an immigrant from Kenya, Africa and when I came to America, I stepped into a library for the first time. In Africa I had never been exposed to any books besides the textbooks we got in school. My grandmother who raised me was illiterate so there were no books around the house. Since I stepped into the library for the first time, I fell in love with libraries. I began to dream of building libraries in Africa to help other Africans get the opportunity to step into a library like I did. African Library Project helped me accomplish this dream of mine at 16 years old. I got to reach out to my whole community for gently used books. I set up barrels at church and at school. It was just amazing how people I did not even know brought books to me.The organization requires you to collect a 10000 books. When I first saw this number I thought that it would be extremely hard to raise this many books but, it was not. People are extremely generous, I collected about 5000 books. Through out this whole project the organization was great in supporting me. I would email them and immediately receive answers. I am really grateful for this organization and the wonderful work they are doing. I now know that children in Africa who are just like my childhood self will receive the books that I never had growing up.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

September 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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September 27, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

African Library Project has given us such a wonderful opportunity to change the lives of many people. My class of 1st graders have gone out to collect money and books to make a library in Botswana. Many of them still in process of learning how to read were very excited with the idea of helping children whom they never met in another continent to learn how to read. Chris from ALP came to the classroom for a presentation. Within a short period of time, the whole school was involved in collecting the books. A little girl had gone around knocking door to door to collect the shipping money for the books. Mothers have come to help packing, and fathers have come to take the boxes to the post office. Everyone got involved and in everyone's heart there was warmth serving a community. It became an unforgettable life learning event for the 1st graders.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

well, actually it takes more like 20-30 hours to do a book drive, but then you would have helped start a library in Africa! Volunteer