In 2015, we broke all previous book donation totals and sent a record 1.1 million books to our partners in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a massive achievement and something we simply wouldn’t have been able to do without the tireless hard work of our regular team of warehouse volunteers.
Every week, fourteen dedicated individuals join us at our warehouse in Camberwell to help to shelve, pick and pack books ready for shipment. Together they generously give us around 3,400 hours of their time each year! We caught up with three of them to find out why they volunteer for us:
“I can’t imagine living without books. I read of one teacher who had only five books to use with their class at school. I like the thought that people in Africa are receiving the means to improve their lives as a result of my work here.”
We were delighted that Gill was recently invited to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her contribution to our work.
“What Book Aid International does is fantastic because it’s something in which everybody involved wins, including the publishers who donate their books. I volunteer with Book Aid International because I believe in the cause and feel I’m doing something worthwhile. It is really satisfying to see pictures which the charity’s partners in Africa send of children reading books I’ve packed!”
“Volunteering at Book Aid International gives me a focus for the week. I’ve always loved books and have been to Africa and seen the shortage of books in libraries in some of the countries there. My husband and I used to take books with us when we visited and gave them to the local libraries.”
As well as our team of regular volunteers, others – from corporate and publisher supporters to schools that fundraise for us on World Book Day – also join us to help stamp or pack books for shipments.
And of course, there are all the people who regularly give up their time in other ways – from running events to running marathons – to support and spread news of our work. This includes our Community Ambassadors and Publisher Ambassadors.
A very big thank you from us all at Book Aid International for the difference our volunteers help us make – we couldn’t do it without you!
You can find out more about all the ways people support our work here.