So, in case you’re unfamiliar, BOOKS for the BARRIOS has been around for 30 years. In three decades, the all-volunteer children’s charity has built over 10,000 libraries around the world, primarily in the Philippines, in hard-to-reach barrios and areas of conflict. Our work has done more than bring literacy to poor children in the Philippines; it has brought peace to war-torn areas. What makes our work unique is that we work with American schoolchildren, educating them about the challenges of the other half of the world and teaching them about real philanthropy at a very young age. We also work closely with our American troops to deliver school materials and bring this work to areas that other organizations could never even imagine reaching because of poor infrastructure and safety threats. In this respect, we build bridges between the Asia Pacific peoples, focused only on doing what I call the work of God (whatever you call him/her).
Dan Harrington, Chairman/Founder of BOOKS for the BARRIOS
Typhoon Bopha sweeps through the Philippines, demolishing BOOKS for the BARRIOS schools
Last December, Typhoon Bopha, also known as Pablo, swept through the Philippines leaving over 200,000 homes destroyed in its wake. Classified as a Category 5 super typhoon with gusts exceeding 160 miles per hour, Bopha triggered multiple flash floods and landslides, uprooting coconut trees and littering the streets with debris. To date, Bopha is noted as the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit the southernmost Philippine island of Mindanao where most of the destruction occurred, killing over 1,000 people and forcing more than 150,000 out of their homes.
We are sad to report that several schools built by BOOKS for the BARRIOS were included in this disaster. While a detailed damage report indicating exactly which schools were affected is not currently available, there is a high possibility that many of our schools are in dire need of repair.
As of February, over 6,000 refugees still remain in evacuation centers. Despite the catastrophic devastation that occurred, Bopha was widely ignored by international media and disappeared from news reports within days.
The recovery from this disaster is far from over, so please help in any way you can. The victims in the Philippines still need our help!
Students fight for the right to learn
Former BOOKS for the BARRIOS Volunteer Reflects on his Life-Changing Experience
In his college admission essay to Loyola Marymount University, former volunteer Jake Moore describes how his time at BOOKS for the BARRIOS taught him what it truly means to make a difference. Here are some excerpts from his paper:
“I first met Dan and Nancy Harrington, the founders of BOOKS for the BARRIOS (BftB) during spring break while in sixth grade. From the beginning, Dan (a retired U.S. Naval Pilot) and Nancy (a retired school teacher) instilled in me the desire to be part of a cause greater than myself, helping needy children and our troops in their humanitarian efforts…
…BOOKS for the BARRIOS has demonstrated for over 30 years what it means to “do for others,” and has inspired in me, and myriad others, the desire to take up the struggle. Because of them, I will always be open and ready for the opportunity to help others. I am committed to making a difference.”
High school trio joins forces to ’stop poverty and dependency through sponsorship of education’
Three Mission College Prep seniors Shubham Kahal, Meghan Martin, and Joey Hall recently donated more than 5,000 high quality children’s books and school supplies to the BOOKS for the BARRIOS organization as part of a personally inspired service project. They then successfully applied for grant funding to underwrite the cost shipping the donations across the globe to lesser-advantaged children in the rainforests of the Philippines.
Kahal, Hall and Martin stated that they really wanted to aim high so they could have the most meaningful impact and help the Philippine children get the education they deserve. Close friends as well as classmates, Kahal, Martin and Hall enjoyed the experience, which they viewed as a successful venture between three “business partners.”
8 Year-Old dreams of changing the world with books
A generous young boy named Noah stepped up to the plate and chose to help BOOKS for the BARRIOS for his first communion project.
With hopes of spreading the invaluable gift of education to children all around the world, 8-year-old Noah was particularly interested in the Philippines because he has a close friend from the island nation. After finding Books for the Barrios online, Noah decided to donate his own hard-earned money towards giving his less fortunate peers in the Philippines a chance to learn. Thanks Noah!
BOOKS for the BARRIOS in Action
BOOKS for the BARRIOS, Inc. is a non-profit, public-benefit California corporation run by volunteers who collect textbooks and educational learning aids from schools and publishers in the United States and deliver them to remote barrio schools throughout the Philippines. Priority is given to those who are most deprived and most remotely located without regard for politics, religion, or ethnicity.
In the last 30 years BftB has gathered, transported and distributed over 10 million primary and secondary textbooks, reference books and educational aids and devices; bringing the opportunity for a high-quality educational experience to twenty million eager youths. We have formed a network of dedicated volunteers, civic organizations, and government agencies in the United States and overseas to generate and control the educational resources necessary to fundamentally revitalize public education systems on a national scale. volunteers, civic organizations, and government agencies in the United States and overseas to generate and control the educational resources necessary to fundamentally revitalize public education systems on a national scale.