FROM THE CEO

Blog post from BWB CEO, David Murphy.

People ask me all the time what does it really mean when you say “Better World Books delivers meaningful social and environmental impact” through its core business?

On one level, we can cite several meaningful metrics that we use to track our impact:
  • Over $9 million raised for our non-profit literacy and library partners
  • Over 4.5 million books donated to a large number of non-profit partners, most notably Books For Africa and Feed The Children
  • Over 70 million pounds of books saved from landfills through the re-use or recycling of used books we have collected.

On another level, it is all about the stories.  Stories of our employees and our partners advancing our mission in so many different ways.  Here are just a few of them:

Earth Week (April 18th)

  • Several employees from our corporate headquarters in Alpharetta, GA volunteered to help clear hiking trails at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Everyone returned home poison ivy and tick-free!!
  • Over 60 BWB employees participated in the Indiana Highway’s Trash Bash month! These employees from Mishawaka and South Bend did their part by picking up trash along the side of our section of adopted highway, Capital Avenue. We’re glad to be able to do our small part to keep our earth green!

Partner News
Invisible Children:

Last month the Invisible Children (IC) Deep South Roadie Team came to our corporate headquarters, in Alpharetta, Georgia, to show us their latest awareness-raising film – Tony.  This film focused specifically on the experience of one of the young “night commuters” they met when they visited Africa in 2003, and how Tony has been able to transition from being a young kid sleeping on the streets to a fun loving teenager.  Invisible Children has done a great job adapting each year to the changing needs of their partners in Africa, and this year they have focused on the fact that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has moved out of Uganda but is threatening the Congo and other surrounding countries in a major way.  The 2 main goals of the IC spring campaign are to build radio tower networks so that Villages can communicate with each other, and work to rescue and rehabilitate the child soldiers.   Several employees in Atlanta and Mishawaka participated in the Invisible Children’s 25 Campaign and remained silent for 25 hours in support of Invisible Children’s campaign to end the terrorism by the LRA.

Feed The Children:

To date, Better World Books has donated over 2.3 million books to Feed The Children (FTC).  These books have been distributed throughout the U.S. via FTC’s Personal Care Box Program, as well as through their outreach of partner agencies.  These books have been key in providing reading opportunities to many children who might not have otherwise experienced the fun and learning that books bring.

As part of the Read Across America Program, Better World Books donated books to eight schools in Moskogee, OK through FTC. The Program encourages children to learn and love reading. Check out the video here - http://bcove.me/8ws8hs1m.

Giving Back
Book Donations Committee:  Better World Books continues to give back to organizations who request book donations.  Here are a few of the organizations we’ve helped within the last 3 months:

  • Hero Camp (program to help at risk teens) – 150 books for a new library
  • McKinley School (title 1 school) had teachers being reassigned to new grades and new teachers needing books –  1,412 books
  • One Book, One Michiana – 100 new copies of Rocket Boy (October Skies) for an event
  • The Robinson Community Learning Center – 71 books for their Shakespeare Program
  • Feed the Children – 250 pallets (~1,500 books each) of children’s books since January
  • Books for Africa  - 192 pallets of books since January
Books for Africa
LEAP (Literacy and Education in Action Program)
The Better World Books community supports local libraries (as well as those located worldwide) through purchases at BetterWorldBooks.com.  This new program funds literacy and educational nonprofits and libraries for specific projects.

  • In March we gave a total of $125,000 in restricted grants to some of our major Non-Profit Literacy Partners:  Books For Africa, Invisible Children, Room to Read, The National Center for Family Literacy, Worldfund, The Robinson Community Learning Center and Prison Book Program.  This money will go to fund 8 separate projects.  Make sure to visit the site for more information and continual updates.
  • This month, we gave a total of $75,000 LEAP for Library grants which will fund libraries’ local efforts to make an impact.  This will fund 6 separate programs:
    • District of Columbia Library – STAR Club Program for Early Literacy
    • Hughes County – Reading Resources for the Juvenile Services Center Library
    • Knox County Library – At Risk Children Reading Intervention Program
    • Limitless Horizons – The First Library for Eager Learners in Guatamala
    • Palms for Life – Mobile Library Improvement and Expansion in Ecuador
    • South Park Township Public Library – Multisensory Literacy Experience for Children Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Awards
In recognition of our efforts, Better World Books has received the following acknowledgements in the past few months:
  • 3/11 – Justmeans Social Innovation Award, Best Social Investment Strategy:  The Social Innovation Awards recognize companies implementing groundbreaking strategies and programs that drive social and environmental innovation and responsibility.
  • 3/11 – Justmeans Social Innovation Award, Citizen’s Choice:   Unlike the Social Innovation Awards, anyone can vote on submissions. The best idea will be selected to be featured within a USA Today insert called “The Power of Innovation”, published by Mediaplanet. Winning will mean extra promotion for Better World Books’s innovate initiative
  • 5/11 – Recognition from St. Joseph County, IN:   Better World Books is encouraging literacy in our local penal system by donating bibles to the St. Joseph County Jail. Kreece Fuchs had a wonderful surprise last week when our Mishawaka facility was visited by the St. Joe County Sheriff, Mike Grzegorek, and Chaplain, Steven Coyle.  As a thank you for our donations, they presented Kreece with a plaque from the recipients of the bibles.

Do you have any questions for our CEO, David Murphy? We’d love to hear from you below and he’ll get back to you with answers ASAP!

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