Oglethorpe University’s Social Enterprise class conducted a campus-wide book drive to support Invisible Children, a social literacy campaign based in Uganda.
The class partnered with Better World Books, a social enterprise based in Alpharetta, that collects used books, sells them, and sends a portion of the proceeds to nonprofit organizations around the world that tackle the issue of illiteracy. Students were seeking all kinds of book donations from the OU community, including textbooks and old children’s books.
“We don’t want the books that people can sell,” said Keri Dawkins, OU junior. “We want the books that people don’t want anymore for whatever reason and they have no re-sale value. Even if the book is worth a dollar, they can add up.”
The class goal was to collect 700 books. The group had set up donations boxes around the OU campus, recognizable by their bright green color and large size.
To organize the effort, students held class elections in which members of an executive committee were chosen, including a CEO, CFO, director of marketing, and a COO.
“Having the responsibility of directing operations for an event like this can be hectic,” said “COO” Tammer Weems, junior. “But being at Oglethorpe is all about making a life, making a living, and making a difference. So not only do we make a difference here in the United States but also around the world–like we are trying to do for the children in Northern Uganda.”
Invisible Children is a nonprofit literacy effort that was begun in 2003 by a group of American youth who mobilized against the abduction and forced enlistment of children in Ugandan civil wars. The group raises money to rebuild war-torn schools in northern Uganda and provide scholarships to African youth.