There’s nothing more special than receiving a brand-new book, especially when you live where they are hard to come across. In America, we are fortunate to have a plethora of books to choose from in local libraries or to buy, but for some people in developing countries, that simply isn’t the case. Students at Lutheran High School North here in St. Louis wanted to help send books to Africa to spread the joy of reading to those who might not get the opportunity to have books.
Ideas from home
Coming up with an idea for a school fundraiser can be difficult. There’s a balance between finding a fundraiser that will make an impact and one that will also be fun and engaging for the student body. This particular idea of teaming up with “Books for Africa” came from student Stephanie Njeri, one of the student body executives. Her family is from Kenya, so she wanted to create a fundraiser that would give back to her home country and make an impact in the lives of the people there.
How then to get the fundraiser to gain traction? A book donation is a wonderful idea, but trying to get momentum on a fundraiser needs a bit of steam behind it. TREND—Turning Resources and Energy in New Directions—partnered with the Lutheran North Student Council to help promote the fundraiser. Both of these organizations are student run and were created to make an impact on the local community, whether it be through advocating for an alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle, or organizing fundraiser events like this.
Concordia Gospel Outreach Aids the Mission
CGO heard that Lutheran High School North was doing this fundraiser and found it to be the perfect opportunity to help out. Aiding in literacy missions is close to CGO’s mission; therefore, we decided to donate 500 copies of these Arch Books to this endeavor: A Man Named Noah; Samson: Strong and Faithful; Jesus Blesses the Children; Jesus Walks on the Water; and He’s Risen! He’s Alive!
A Key Player Added
As with many high schools, a fundraiser can be great by itself, but when the faculty get involved, the fundraiser can rise to a whole new level. Lutheran North's dean of students, Dan Wenger, decided to get in on some of the fun and hopefully increase the amount of donations of books to go to Africa. Mr. Wenger decided to wager a bet with the student body, stating that if they collected over 1,000 books, then he would shave his head.
The students ended up almost doubling their goal, raising just under 1,800 books for “Books for Africa,” meaning that Mr. Wenger shaved his head, all in good spirits. Additionally, one devotional group alone collected almost 300 books in a competition with the other groups. The student body was incredibly proud of their achievements; they will be shipping the books out over Christmas Break.
Help students and other volunteer programs in their efforts to help the global community by donating today.