It’s February 1st and on It’s Just Life that means it is time to tally up the comments for the month and share our total donation to our Comments for a Cause for the month. This past month I featured Blessings in a Backpack which is a wonderful organization that provides weekend backpacks full of nutritious food items to elementary children across our country who might otherwise be unable to have food available to them during the weekend. I have been so blessed to read comments from so many folks who volunteer in various parts of the country with these programs. Some of the comments have come from Texas, Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. That is just a sampling of where these folks are offering blessings to children in the form of food. How wonderful that this exists. I am thrilled to announce that even with the glitches with the blog this month I have received a good number of comments and Chris and I will be making a donation of $190 to Blessings in a Backpack. Thank you to each of you who has taken the time to comment.
Did you know that February is Library Lovers’ Month? My friend, Val, who blogs at Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids and who almost had her baby at the Chiles Birthing Center (not really but it was a fun night waiting with her!) let me know that it was and since she is amazing and does Comments for a Cause on her blog as well we decided to team up and donate this month to the same organization.
Room to Read is an amazing organization that promotes literacy worldwide. Their website is a glimpse into what the world SHOULD look like in terms of reading capabilities across the world. They are located in 10 countries in Asia and Africa and their mission statement as found on their website is:
We envision a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.
To achieve this goal, we focus on two areas where we believe we can have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education. We work in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond.
One of the most important things when I look at a charity is their rating on Charity Navigator and Room to Read boasts an 8 year 4 star rating which means they put their money where it is supposed to go with low overhead and good oversight to spending. They have lofty goals, yes, but wonderful goals that make my heart happy.
The organization began when an overworked Microsoft executive, John Wood, went to Nepal for a backpacking getaway in 1998. While hiking he met a Nepalese “Education Resource Officer” who took him to their school to show him the conditions that existed there. What shocked him was that the few books that they had there, a copy of a Danielle Steele novel, Lonely Planet Guide to Mongolia and a few other books that other backpackers had left behind were kept locked up so they would be protected from the children! What? When John left the village the headmaster requested that maybe someday he would return with books for the school and children. John took that request to heart and within two months had collected over 3000 books for them. The story continues from there and in 1999 John left his position with Microsoft and started Room to Read.
A few statistics from Room to Read:
- 17,366 libraries established
- 1,041 books published
- 30,210 Girls’ Education Participants
- 1,825 Schools constructed
- 14, 588,494 Books distributed
- 8.8 million children benefited
I am sure that all of my reading friends who follow It’s Just Life will be able to get behind this cause and comment. If you are interested in donating on your own or just learning more about Room to Read just click here to go directly to their website. Remember—for each comment on ANY POST during February Chris and I will donate 5o cents to Room to Read.
Please join me this month in supporting this great cause and don’t forget to stop over and take a look around Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids and comment there as well in support of Library Lovers’ Month.