Vikram Ruppa-Kasani says that he has always liked books. As he got older and he learned about people in the rest of the world, he wanted to give kids the same experience that he had had. So, at age 16, he led his Eagle Scout troop in Alpharetta, GA to do a book drive.
“I live in a helping community, and we want to promote literacy,” he explained
Troop members spread the word by sending emails to their family and friends and putting announcements at school and in libraries.
“Friends and family contributed, and so did the public and school libraries,” he said. “They wanted to contribute to a global cause.”
The boys collected 2500 books, for two libraries—one in Ghana, one in Lesotho. Five hundred books are still in Vikram’s basement, ready for the next library!
Like many other successful book drive organizers, they used GoFundMe to raise money for mailing and shipping.
The troop got together to sort and pack the books, playing music while they worked.
Vikram thinks the book drive was good for him personally and for his community. “Often we are caught up in our own lives. I like feeling part of something bigger. In addition, the book drive helped the community bond and created an overall positive feeling.”
He has advice for anyone doing a book drive or thinking about organizing one: “Even if it seems difficult, continue. Creating libraries is a great thing. You will get the books you need and have a great feeling of satisfaction.”
Start Your Own Book Drive
Read our Book Drive Guidelines to learn all you need to know to collect, sort, pack and then mail your books to our warehouse, where they will be containerized for shipment to Africa. Your goal is to collect 1,000 appropriate books and approximately $500 for shipping and related costs. Double this and you can start two! Triple it and… you get the idea. To get ideas from other book drives — how they’ve collected their books and raised their funds.
We ship books all year round. Our typical calendar is:
- Ghana in February
- Botswana in March
- Malawi in June
- Kenya in July
- Uganda in August
- Lesotho in September
- Sierra Leone in October
- eSwatini (Swaziland) in November