The tangible gift of a book gives the intangible gift of learning. When one gives The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or To Kill a Mockingbird, a young person learns about race relations in the United States. Or maybe a child’s imagination can expand through classics such as The Chronicles of Narnia. What if you could give that gift to a loved one and at the same time help the education of someone in poverty?
It’s possible through the Auckland, New Zealand based company, Good Books. Just by shopping for books on their website, one can directly help the world’s poor through an automatic donation to Oxfam New Zealand, a partner of the general Oxfam family.
This is possible through a business plan by Good Books, which includes several partners that can donate their time or services to make the operation have zero operating costs.
For example, all the workers directly associated with Good Books are unpaid. The organization’s book distributor, Paperback Shop UK, handles the actual moving of the merchandise and supplies the website and management services. Also, the organization is able to build the company’s brand through media support and customers spreading the word.
But this specific labor is for a great cause since all retail profits are sent to Oxfam, an organization that works on many fronts trying to end global poverty.
Oxfam’s work is varied; the Oxfam America website specifically says the following about their work which is indicative of the organization’s work as a whole:
“No one should go hungry.”
“We all have the right to clean water.”
“All people deserve to live safely.”
“Women and girls are crucial to reducing poverty.”
“We all deserve the opportunity to earn a decent living.”
“People have a right to participate in decisions that affect their lives.”
“We must help poor communities cope with climate change.”
“Poverty is not inevitable.”
“People have the power to end poverty.”
While the purchase/donation cannot be earmarked through the Good Books’ website, purchasing the books matches well with the statements, “women and girls are crucial to reducing poverty,” and “we all deserve the opportunity to earn a decent living.” Both of those ideas hinge on education for the masses to move people out of poverty.
Oxfam New Zealand says that “every extra year a girl spends in school could reduce child mortality by ten percent.” So, much of their good work is built around education initiatives to help the community.
Oxfam and their partners have helped rebuild schools in Pakistan, get clean water for students in Nairobi, teach about women’s rights in Guatemala, and even giving goats to families in Ethiopia where the selling of offspring and goods provides money to send daughters of poor families to school.
By buying books from Good Books, consumers can use their purchasing power to help all the areas listed above. Specifically though, one can use their money to directly aid the fight against poverty while also reading a book that can change the mental attitudes for those in developed countries. Awareness and change concerning poverty can be worked on in two very distinct ways through the purchase of books.
– Megan Ivy