Today is Blog Action Day! The goal, as their website states is:
“Blog Action Day is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.”
So here’s my post:
Here at Better World Books, we see everything through a certain lens, and that lens is dead focused on literacy. If a woman in Africa is literate, she is 50% less likely to contract HIV. 1 in 7 people in the world are illiterate and the majority of these people are women. Over half of the eligible population in Detroit, Michigan doesn’t graduate from high school. The fact is, if you can’t read, you can’t succeed. Literacy is the first step towards sustainability and stepping out of the tangled web of poverty.
Literacy isn’t a skill, it’s as fundamental as sleeping or going to work– if you can’t do it, you’re not going to make it. That’s why we’re so serious about making a difference in this space. See that ticker up top (OK, yes, I need to update it)? It says it clear as day, through your buying books at betterworld.com, we’ve raised over $4.5 million for global literacy. Be it money for children in Latin America with Worldfund, scholarships for young women and libraries in Southeast Asia through Room to Read, cash to programs here in the US sponsored by the National Center for Family Literacy, aiding the number of homeless and poor children of Uganda with Invisible Children, or being the largest shipper of college level textbooks to Africa via Books for Africa, we’ve talked the talk and walked the walk, distributing over 1,000,000 books along with the excellent amount of cash raised.
We’re doing our part, not because it’s sexy (though giving always is, and you know it) and not because it makes us feel good (though that warm fuzzy feeling is great), we do it because it’s our responsibility. As those who can, we must get involved in making a change, be it a simple blog post, a single book given or a single kid tutored near our offices (loving Robinson Literacy and 826!). It’s worth it because the bottom line isn’t about what we make, and it’s not about who we claim to be, it’s about who we are and what we do.