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Wisconsin Books for the World



The project was started in 2000 by two Rotarians, one in Texas and the other in Johannesburg, South Africa. These two individuals began talking about a possibility that arose from the fact that Texas schools were disposing of thousands of text books every year and South African schools were desperately in need of books. Within a couple of years, hundreds of Rotarians were involved, a warehouse in Houston had been established, customs clearance had been obtained, a distribution center in Johannesburg opened and countless books were being given to schools, libraries and organizations throughout South Africa. To date, over six million books have been distributed. Today, the project is coordinated by The Second Wind Foundation and operates under the banner BOOKS FOR THE WORLD. The roots of the Wisconsin initiative go back to 2005. Through January, 2014, over 875 tons of books and other educational materials have been shipped from Wisconsin donors. Books are collected from schools, libraries, and individuals and come to a collection center in Madison where they are sorted, boxed, palletized and shrink-wrapped before being loaded onto a semi-trailer and shipped to Houston. Sorting and packing books is done on a regular basis and is made available to individuals, service organizations, and corporate teams. To learn more about the program and what volunteers do, view our instructional video at: