Giving Back: New Mexico-based Wholesale Shop Shares Love of Literacy with Africans

The program started off with a simple book collection point in the lobby but it has taken off from there.

Farmington, New Mexico-based Advertising Ideas, which provides signs and banners, promotional items and screen and direct-to-garment printing, recently shipped off a load of books as part of the African Library Project.

According to Devon Long, the employee who spearheads the project for Advertising Ideas, the African Library Project was brought to the attention of the company by the Rio Del Sol Kiwanis Club.

Long says her local Kiwanis is involved with many projects that benefit the children of the Farmington area. In this case, the benefits are being felt half a world away.

Long collects books for African Library Project in a box in the company’s lobby. Once word spread of the program, however, Advertising Ideas started receiving “hundreds” of books from the community.

Once enough books are collected-1,000 books make up a library, and the ones they collect are up to the eighth grade reading level-then they are shipped off to New Orleans where they will be put on a freighter and sent to Africa. So far Advertising Ideas and the Kiwanis has collected enough to have opened three libraries and another is scheduled to open in June of this year. That will be the second one opened in 2019 and the goal is to open four for the year.

Long says most of the libraries are in rural areas of Africa. The last library the company supplied books for was in eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland.

“The children that benefited from these books were mostly orphaned and lived in an AIDS stricken area,” Long tells SDG. “Their classroom consisted of a chalkboard and four walls. The children would learn for a few hours and then work on the farm land. To know the storie, we have grown up with as children are now enriching the minds of children and adults in another country is beyond amazing. It does not take much to make a difference in the world, just donate an old book or two.”

tony kindelspire oct21

Tony Kindelspire

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