Bookfriends International: Building Brighter Futures through Education

Bookfriends International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to helping educate children in Africa by providing books, supporting educational materials and services. Bookfriends is entirely run by volunteers.

How does this happen?
Donated textbooks and library books are received at our warehouse in Wauconda, IL. Bookfriends enters into a planning period with high schools in Africa to determine their specific needs and the best way we can be helpful. This includes making a determination of which books to send. Each school receives classroom books in many subjects and also a well-chosen library of approximately 1,000 books. Volunteers process the books, sort for subject matter, and prepare for shipping. The books are packed in boxes ready for shipment. A container holding about 20,000 books and other educational materials is sent to ten African schools at a time. The container moves from our warehouse to those schools thanks to generous donors who believe in the mission and effectiveness of Bookfriends.

Hundreds of classrooms have been transformed into vibrant learning environments. To date, more than 100,000 students have found a productive direction for their lives, thanks to Bookfriends.

Everyone can help create a better world through education.

My parents always told me: “If you can read, the world belongs to you!” Books Educate! Books make us feel emotions of joy, sadness, curiosity – Books help us travel around the world (without taking a plane!) to discover other countries and their cultures to increase our open-mindedness – Books are life-enhancing – THAT is why Bookfriends mission to help provide books for African students is so vital!”

Melanie G., foreign student to the USA, from France 2014

Bookfriends has an ongoing need for monetary donations. Shipping in cargo load quantities is expensive. It takes generous funding to arrange shipping from Chicago all the way to the African villages, schools and libraries.

Most of our book donations come from schools and libraries in the Chicago area. We also accept appropriate, educational book donations from private individuals, used book stores, book clubs and educators.

We are a volunteer-run organization. We don’t have layers of bureaucracy or high office expenses; funds go from wonderful caring people directly to shipping and program expenses. Speaking of volunteers, we are always looking for new folks with a variety of talents wishing to be a part of this team effort. A current need is to find a volunteer to assist with mailing list management.