African Library Project

The Purdy Family Book Drive

06/18/2018 to 07/29/2018
Tucker GA

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 ...

We are the Purdy-Kolesa Family (Tim, Kathy, Bella and Abbey Purdy and Betty Kolesa.) We are just your average family, who is passionate about reading, values education, and embraces opportunities to serve together. We are thrilled to be working with ALP again! We are dedicating our fundraiser and book drive in honor of an extraordinary librarian and individual, Sandy Wilson, for her 38 years of service to the children and families of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in Atlanta, GA. Sandy has touched the lives of so many through her kindness, generosity, gentle spirit, dedication, and her passion for reading and books. The library became a home away from home for our kids, a welcoming place, a place where life lessons are learned (anything from having a tooth pulled by a trusted librarian to heart-to-heart chats before school or over lunch), a place to learn through playing games, a place to grow in responsibility and knowledge, a safe place to dream big and outside of the box, and a place to feel loved and accepted. Sandy is retiring from IHM, but her spirit and example have undeniably inspired each of us. It is our hope and dream that every child experience a library like this. It starts with a book, but it is oh so much more....

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

We are huge fans of ALP. This will be our second opportunity to sponsor a library in Sierra Leone. In 2014, our family was privileged to sponsor one of the first library shipments to Sierra Leone following the aftermath of their civil war more than a decade before. So many of the schools and libraries were destroyed between 1991-2002, causing a rise in unemployment, increased poverty, and growing illiteracy rates due to limited educational resources. Currently, over 70% of the Sierra Leone population live under the poverty level and only 7% of their primary and secondary schools have libraries. Adult illiteracy registers at a staggering 65%. Fortunately, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in this region is markedly low compared to neighboring countries and is estimated at 1.5% among 15-49 year olds. These are a resilient people who continue to defy the odds, including the Ebola epidemic of 2014. Sierra Leone touches a special place in our hearts. With an opportunity for education and access to books, there is hope and promise for the next generation. We are so grateful to have this opportunity to share our love of books and education in a way that might empower others.

About our African Partners...

We are excited to announce that we will be working with a JHS/secondary school in Sierra Leone. The students are in the 2nd-8th grades.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

We are sponsoring a JHS/secondary school library and are looking for gently used or new books ranging from U.S. 2nd- 8th grade reading levels primarily.
This includes: Children's fiction and non-fiction, early readers, Teacher's resource books for school libraries, picture dictionaries/children's dictionaries/thesauruses, books about Africa or African Americans, textbooks in math, English, geography, health and science, books with universal themes (friendship, animals, love), books that teach life skills relating to health, hygiene, adolescence and careers, books with inspirational stories with life skills lessons, Chicken Soup for the Soul books, books on agriculture, animal husbandry, gardening, health, business, ecology and books relating to current events and educational children's science and literary magazines that are current and in good condition. We would also welcome brain teasers, flash cards, educational games and puzzles that contain all pieces and are in good condition.
PLEASE, NO BOOKS that focus on North American or religious holidays (Easter, Halloween, Christmas, July 4th, Thanksgiving, April fools, Valentine's Day, Chanukah, etc.) OR books that evangelize or promote a particular religion. Books that contain a lot of slang or reference electronic gadgets frequently may be difficult for English learners to follow.

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

We will be hosting a fundraiser and book drive at our home on Saturday, June 23, 2018, from 9AM - Noon. Please see our flyer or email for our address.

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

We are grateful for any monetary donations to cover the shipping expenses for delivery of the books. (Please email Kathy Purdy with any questions regarding where to send checks.)

Contact us to find out more

Name: Kathy Purdy Primary Contact

Name: Tim Purdy


We want to thank everyone for all your help, support, and donations.

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