Freckles in April: Books for Africa

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Books for Africa

I know it's still a couple months away but I've got Christmas on the brain. I'm the type who likes to get all my gifts bought early so I can just enjoy the season. As I was pondering gifts I realized that I don't particularly want anything this year. I have a couple small part time jobs that give me a little fun money to spend on whatever stupid thing catches my fancy so, really, I'm set.

I asked Twitter if anyone could recommend a charity that they know uses funds responsibly. Definitely RA directed me to Charity Navigator and that's how I found Books for Africa.

A little backstory-

A little anthropological field trip

In 2005 I took a class on healthcare in Africa as part of my anthropology major. The end goal of the class was to travel to Ghana over the summer and complete a research project relating to healthcare. I spent the semester researching my little heart out (my project centered on care and therapy practices available for children with birth defects). But, as the summer and our departure date approached, things started falling apart.

The grant paperwork I'd spent hours on went missing. I was denied funding that should have been an easy approval. I got a speeding ticket that drained my bank account. My research hit a wall. A couple weeks before the end of the semester I realized there was no way I could afford the trip. I threw my arms in the air and said, "FINE. I'm going home for the summer instead." I cried a little, gave my wonderful professor a lame excuse that I'm sure left him scratching his head, and packed my bags.

A few weeks after arriving in Mesa I met Aaron.

Clearly God knew what He was doing but after spending so much time focusing on the children of Ghana I couldn't help but feel a kinship. I've never stepped foot in Ghana but all these years later they still feel like my people.

Over a YEAR ago this pastor in Ghana set a goal of $13,000 for books for the children in his community. They're only 9% toward their goal. I'm a lifelong, passionate reader and seeing that sad little progress bar turned on a huge lightbulb over my head. THIS is what I want for Christmas.

Would you help me push them a little closer to their goal? I'd love to see them at 18% by Christmas. It's small, but it's so much better than where they're at now!

To donate, click this link. Then, click on Ghana. It's that little orange one.

Click the "Donate Now" button.

Then fill out your information. It took me less than 3 minutes. The minimum donation is $5, which goes further than you'd think!

Books For Africa is a simple idea, but its impact is transformative. For us, literacy is quite simply the bridge from misery to hope.
Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary-General


  1. what a great project! i served my mission in zimbabwe (and zambia and malawi) so now i want to donate to the projects in those countries too! i've seen some of the schools that the description in malawi talks about and it really is a sad situation.

    thanks so much for bringing attention to this charity!

  2. I'm glad that Charity Navigator was helpful! Isn't it such a good resource?

    I have been feeling similarly about not needing presents, and we are slimming down on that for Christmas, too. I don't think Greg and I will exchange gifts (maybe fill stockings for each other with small stuff), and we are doing a round robin with my family. We are all at the point of not needing anything. I will, of course, still bake like a maniac, and I love Christmas cards, so all THAT is still happening.


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