ImageDuring a recent Books for the World event at Boynton Middle School, Rotarians and volunteers packed over 6,000 books, destined for children in countries where books are a prized possession.

The Ithaca Rotary Club has now sent 39,000 books to participating countries through the Books for the World project.


ImageEdward Kokkelenberg shares this first hand account of the effort:

August 21, 2013
Our Rotary Club successfully took on a large Books for the World packing and shipping project this past Monday, the 19th. We should be proud of the club members and the many helpers that did this.

Perhaps a description of this effort would help us understand the magnitude of this club project.

Janet and I had previously fetched 120 flattened cartons from Skaneateles and dropped them off at Boynton middle school’s library where Scott Taylor’s custodian crew had placed about 160 boxes of books culled from closets, classrooms and the school library.

At noon on Monday four Rotarians came to join us to work; Larry Thayer who assembled and affixed labels to the 120 boxes, while Jim Johnston, Arpi Hovaguimian, John Vineyard, Janet and I started in sorting and packing.
We were soon joined by Rotarians Joel Abrams, Martin Harms and Joe Giordano
As the afternoon progressed, five Cornell freshmen arrived to move 41 of the packed boxes to the truck loading area.
Later, Rotarians Scott Russell, David Flaccus, and Millie Clark- Maynard and her husband, Will, joined in. As several members left for work or other commitments, they were replaced by Rotarians Bill Hawley, Gale Smith, Dale Johnson, June Losurdo and her sister Janet.
During the middle part of the afternoon, we helped out the Dryden Rotary Club which needed ten more boxes to make up their fifth pallet, so fellow Rotarian Tracy Kurtz from Dryden arrived and we were happy to contribute Boynton books to Dryden school books--especially since it meant that we came out with almost exactly enough cartons for four full pallets (with one box left over, which we will add to the next pallet, probably in October at the Friends of the Library)

ImageOur energy was starting to flag about 4 PM but we had about fifty six more cartons packed and ready to move to the shipping area. When eight Alpha Sigs came in, they were greeted like cavalry riding in over the hill. They quickly loaded these cartons onto dollies and moved them to the loading area at the far side of the building.
Next, Brian Sgrecci from Four Seasons Landscaping and his helper drove into the loading area with two large trucks, one filled with empty pallets and the other pulling a large flat bed trailer. 

The Alpha Sigs helped set up four pallets and brought the boxes to Brian and his helper who stacked them on the pallet. I watched in amazement as they smoothly and continuously handled 96 boxes weighing between 40 and 90 pounds each. Brian shrink wrapped the pallets and added labels to the pallet ends which Janet handed to him to indicate destination etc. Brian then brought these pallets to the Agway warehouse on Fulton Street where he placed them awaiting pick up for their next leg of the journey to some child’s hands.

Frank Towner then joined me to help clean up.
Next the Alpha Sigs loaded their cars with about 18 more cartons of books which were deemed unsuitable for shipment overseas and were destined for the Friends of the Library Book sale. As the book sale was closed for the day, the boxes were placed in my garage by the Sigs and Janet and I will bring them to the Book sale later.
In all we had 33 workers:

  • Sixteen club members 
  • Two of their relatives
  • Eight men from Alpha Sigma Phi including many who had worked on earlier Books for the World projects 
  • Brian Sgrecci and his burly helper from Four Seasons Landscaping
  • Five Cornell incoming freshmen

We packed 6,032 books into 97 cartons plus the ten cartons for Dryden. We also packed 18 boxes for delivery to the Friends of the Library booksale
This brings the Ithaca Rotary club’s total to date to 39,645 books on 37 pallets.
Thank you to all who helped in this recent effort.

Janet and I are going to Trumansburg on Thursday to help them pack their very first, second, third and fourth pallet of Books for the World

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