African Library Project

Alyssa's Book Drive for Ghana

12/07/2012 to 04/01/2013
Boston MA

We are working with the African Library Project to provide books to eager readers in Africa who have very few books. Please help us by collecting and delivering gently used books or by raising money to help pay for shipping to Africa. It takes only 1000 books and $500 (plus a little elbow grease!) to start a single library and make a huge difference in children’s lives.

This book drive is organized by ...

Hi! My name is Alyssa, and I live in Boston, MA. I work in communications in the nonprofit sector. I'm passionate about volunteering, and I'm so excited to take on this challenge. I'm an AmeriCorps VISTA alum.

We want to start a library in Africa because...

I'm passionate about giving back, and I'm so happy that I could help my friend April, who is serving in the Peace Corps in Ghana as a high school science teacher.

About our African Partners...

These books will go to a high school in Kuntenase, Ghana. The library will also function as a library for the community, not just for students at the school.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

I'm taking: encyclopedias; dictionaries; thesauruses; atlases; text books in core subjects, including business and accounting; teacher's resource books; young adult literature; classic literature; educational and science magazines, especially National Geographic; books with universal themes (friendship, animals, etc.) or life lessons; books about Africa or African-Americans; educational games and puzzles; NO American history books please.

And no children's books please! I've received enough children's books, and April really needs high school textbooks now!

Here's how you can contribute your books...

Please email if you'd like to donate.

We need to raise funds for shipping the books...

I'll be collecting monetary donations by mail and online, and I'll be soliciting friends, family and local businesses.

Want to make a secure online donation? Click here: and make sure you put my my drive's code (G3-5) in the form.

Mail checks to Carolyn Gannon, the treasurer of African Library Project, at
ALP Treasurer
3530 Partition Road
Woodside, CA 94062

Email with questions. Thank you!

Here are some ways that you can help...

Even a $5 donation goes a long way to help pay for shipping! Or if you live in the Boston/Cambridge area, you can bring any unwanted books to a drop-off point, or you can help me collect, pack, sort and ship the books! Even helping to spread the word helps. Just take the link to this page and share it. Email with questions.

Contact us to find out more

Name: Alyssa Fry
Phone: 713-962-5529

Progress Report

Our Goal 1,000 books $500 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 2/28/13)
850 books $336 fundraising

More great progress to report!

I'm so close to reaching my goals that I'm now trying to get more high school-level books and materials. A coworker of mine gave me about five boxes of textbooks that her teenage children don't need anymore, now that they're in college. And I just picked up a donation of young adult books from a local library.

I'm so close to reaching my book and monetary goal, that I'm now focusing on getting more high school-level reading materials, a request my friend April has made.

Please email me with any tips:


A huge thanks to the Watertown Free Public Library for donating three large boxes of young adult books! This is just the reading level I needed more of.

A huge thank you to Erica Quigley and the Haley School in Roslindale. Erica arranged for me to collect about 500 unused books!

Another huge thank you to Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. This organization takes book donations, sells them, and puts the money back into the library. They had a cache of books leftover from a recent sale that they were happy to donate to my book drive!

Thanks also goes to Ivonne Levin, Ignacio Laguarda, Ella Shenhav and Scott Wachtler, Karen Hawley Miles, Kristan Singleton, Eric Roe, Mayte Antelo, Michelle Spinelli, Sarah Ward, Anna Sommers, Louanne Blanchard, Zlati Shishkova, Raj Bhatt, and Lindsey Peterson for their donations!

Tips for Other Book Drive Organizers

Ask and you shall receive! I discovered that there are "Friends of ___" organizations tied to libraries, and this might be a perfect way to get donations. I got a ton of books and publicity through Friends of the Jamaica Plain Library!

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About the African Library Project

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