A few weeks back we were fortunate to have Better World Books featured in the form of a national television commercial (produced by NBC and shown on their network) that aired during half-time of the Notre Dame vs. Stanford football game (in case you missed it, go to http://fightingfor.nd.edu/literacy/). Millions of people were introduced to a very special company – your company – and to the history of how Notre Dame played such a critical role in Kreece and Xavier’s launching of Better World Books back in 2003. The commercial spoke of what we fight for…..fighting to bring books to the world; fighting to promote and support a fundamental right to literacy and education for every human being. It is amazing to me to see how this “fight” is waged day in and day out at our company….and how we are all working together to create very unique and powerful “impact stories.” A few recent examples:
- We are donating over 135,000 Childrens’ books per month now….a pace of well over 1.5M million books per year….and growing. Tens of thousands of books have been distributed through the Americans Feeding Americans Campaign. The campaign was developed in response to our nation’s economic downturn and with a goal of reaching 200,000 families through 70 cities by the end of 2010. Our books are making a difference in the lives of citizens who never thought they would end up in food lines….and so far the books have been distributed (placed right in the box along with the food) to approximately 40 cities in 22 states.
- We are also participating in a national program entitled The Hygiene Box Program…..here our Childrens’ books are being placed in boxes along with hygiene products and also being distributed throughout the United States. The results so far: tens of thousands of books distributed to 184 cities in 39 states.
- Our Childrens’ books donations are also being distributed locally. In 2010 alone, we have distributed more than 14,000 books to over 2,000 Indiana and Michigan-based teachers who have visited the Teacher Store in nearby Elkhart, Indiana, where teachers can come in and get free books for their classrooms. The need for these books is greater than ever in Indiana and Michigan schools as budgets have been drastically cut over the past two years and more are anticipated. In these tough economic times, schools frequently find themselves unable to provide some of the basic tools for learning. Studies show that teachers spend an average of $500 to $1,200 out of pocket to provide books, materials and supplies for their students. The teachers visiting the Teacher Store know full well that the books they now have access to were generously donated by Better World Books.
- We recently donated thousands of Childrens’ books to four primary schools in South Bend in partnership with the University of Notre Dame’s Women’s Basketball team and their “Spirit of Giving” Outreach Program.
- We donated books to the South Bend/Mishawaka Boys and Girls Club Literacy Room.
- Mishawaka-based Better World Books employees raised over $1,000 for South Bend Schools in a Truck Pull contest.
The list goes on and on…too many of these impact stories to tell in this space. From South Bend/Mishawaka and Atlanta (our “home turfs”) to serving children and families across the United States and around the world….we have found a home for over 3.3 million books donated to date. And we are just getting started…..
So in addition to the almost $9M in cash we have raised for our non-profit literacy partners (great organizations like Room to Read; The National Center for Family Literacy; The Prison Book Program; Worldfund; Books for Africa; Invisible Children; R.E.A.D.; The Robinson Learning Community Center; The Cooperative for Education; Plan USA) and our thousands of library clients (institutions like Houston Public Library; District of Columbia Public Library; Gwinnett County Library System; Cleveland Public Library; The University of Michigan Libraries; Brooklyn Public Library System; San Diego County Library; Baltimore County Public Library; Howard County Library; Queens Borough Public Library; Colorado Library Consortium; The Ohio State University Thompson Library)……we challenge ourselves every day to re-use books…find homes for them…..and keep them out of landfills.
Fighting……to bring books to the world. Fighting….to promote and support a fundamental right to literacy and education for every human being.
We are…….Better World Books.