Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Judging the Book by its Cover

Every year, we have a holiday party and through that party, we contribute to a charity. It’s both a time of celebration and giving. In the past, we’ve donated to House of Ruth, collected things for local schools, etc. It always touched the local community.

This year, we are contributing to Books for Africa.

Perhaps you are pausing right now, thinking to yourself of those commercials you see on TV all the time showing African kids. You know the ones where they are 10 years old and weigh the same amount as Karen Carpenter. Their clothes resemble old pillow cases.

Yeah, what I’m thinking is that those kids need is a good book. Seriously, I’m sure there is some validity to the organization, but really… do they need books first and foremost?

On cable networks at 5:00 AM, Sally Struthers is always showing all these malnourished children, in need of parents, vaccinations or just food. (Now let’s point out that if they just put Sally on the BBQ spit; that alone could feed a village for three days.)

But books? These are crucial for survival?

Another thought… do they read English? Perhaps, but I’m thinking that our Americanized books won’t make much sense. Do they have cell phones, TV’s or Minivans. This line was taken from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, #19 on’s books for middles schoolers. (I was trying to avoid referencing the Harry Potters and Narnia series.) “They were playing with Leroy Herdman’s ‘Young Einstein’ chemistry set, which he stole from the hardware store.”

I don’t think African kids have chemistry sets, let alone hardware stores.

At first I thought it was just me, making a bigger deal about something than I needed to. I have a habit of doing that sometimes. Shocking, I know. But then I read the bottom line on our bulletin board, which mimics the BFA web site:

To end the book famine in Africa

Two million children have been orphaned in Africa due to AIDS. The annual income of an African family is $500.

But on a happy note, their book famine will be solved.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home