By GEORGE BASS
Business Faculty; Director of Business Services
Riverland’s team spirit and positive energy were on full display while working on a service project to donate books to “Books for Africa”. “Books for Africa” is a non-profit that collects book donations in the United States and distributes them to different countries and communities in Africa. The bookstore needed to dispose of some books to create space in the store. Books the faculty were no longer using or older editions that could not be returned to publishers.
The idea to donate these books to “Books for Africa” started about a year ago but COVID-19 restrictions put the initiative on hold. We recently revisited this spring semester as restrictions began to be lifted. Dr. Barb Houle, Psychology Instructor, had worked previously with “Books for Africa” on a separate project and spearheaded this effort. Working as a team, Houle and George Bass, Director of Business Services, and the Bookstore Personnel, packed 16 boxes of books. Maintenance then moved the boxes to a pallet in the Austin East loading dock. The boxes were shrink-wrapped and ready for distribution.
Jonathan Rymer and two of his truck driving students (AK Abella and Elizabeth Richard) joined the service project team and picked up the pallet for delivery to “Books for Africa” Distribution Center in St. Paul. This was a great learning experience for the students.
These books will be shipped to Africa where schools and communities will benefit, creating an opportunity for Riverland to continue to deliver a positive learning experience beyond our campuses and the local market. This team is committed to similar efforts in the future when books become available. Stay tuned for information about donating books towards this project.
This project demonstrates our team spirit – (staff, faculty, and students) working together to make a difference. We are stronger together. Second, it promotes the institution’s community engagement efforts, and finally, it promotes Riverland’s commitment to positively impacting lives globally through our values: “Cultivating growth through service, collaboration, innovation, and respect”.
Many thanks to everyone who participated! One Team! Riverland on the Move!