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OSU student group donates books to Africa

An Ohio State club might have found a remedy to the disappointment stemming from bookstores’ refusal to buy back a text book at the end of the quarter.

Buckeyes for Books for Africa, founded in the spring, is a chapter of a larger organization that collects books and school supplies for Africa.

Megan Hicks, a fourth-year in sociology and president of the club, got the idea to create a chapter on campus after she volunteered during a Buck-I-Serve trip at the Books for Africa warehouse in Atlanta.

“I created Buckeyes for Books for Africa because I was inspired,” Hicks said. “People there were so passionate about what they were doing … I knew at OSU we could make a difference and donate a lot of books too.”

Buckeyes for Books for Africa officially began collecting books in Autumn Quarter.

“Our first major project of the year we collected about 200 books,” Hicks said.

Books are collected and sent to one of BFA’s warehouses in Atlanta, or St. Paul, Minn., according to BFA’s website. They are then distributed to countries in Africa, Hicks said.

“They have shipped over 22 million books to 45 countries … each shipment of books cost $9,800. We obviously do not have the funds for a whole shipment so we donate as much as we can to the warehouse in Atlanta,” Hicks said in an e-mail.

According to BFA’s website, most African children never own a book, and about 10 to 20 students share one book.

“Chapters that are started on college campuses are so valuable,” said Andrea Neff, project and development specialist for BFA in St. Paul. “Getting post-secondary books is becoming harder and harder … so when we have students collecting books at affluent colleges, it’s huge.”

The organization collects books and school supplies throughout the year but are the most successful at the end of each quarter.

“The best time of year we receive books is buy-back time. Instead of receiving no money for the books you have, you can donate them to our cause,” Hicks said.

The newly found organization has gained the support of the OSU community.

“The OSU community has helped out so much. We have had volunteers coming out to fundraisers, and people from everywhere reaching out to donate books,” Hicks said. “All the people have been very willing to help our efforts, and we really appreciate the support.”

Some students are willing to help the organization in its endeavors. DeAndra Childress, a fourth-year in microbiology, realized the benefits of donating her books.

“I looked around and realized that I had accumulated a ton of books over the course of time that I had been here at OSU, books that couldn’t be sold back,” Childress said. “Why let those books fill up in my tiny apartment or throw them away when there are people who could still use them?”

Hicks said most books are accepted with the exception of self-help books.

“Any kind of books made after 1995 from kindergarten to college books … and foreign language books will be accepted,” Hicks said.

BBFA also hopes to raise $1,000 to raise awareness of illiteracy and purchase a computer laboratory for African students, Evans said.


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