It was a great Friday for our last official Zoom meeting before offering in person meetings again at The Pirates House on Friday, October 16th.  President Laura Lane McKinnon reminded everyone of the date and that there will be a Zoom link if you are unable to attend and would still like to participate in the meeting.  Once all business items were discussed, Laura Lane introduced our speaker for the day - fellow Rotarian Roy Austin with Libraries for Kids International.  
Libraries for Kids International was formed almost two years ago after Roy took a trip to Africa.  He traveled to five countries over five weeks.  While there, they spent time with the Maasai people in Kenya.  What struck a chord with Roy is that the Maasai are historically nomadic herdsman but were willing to take risks and not travel in order to ensure their children were able to go to school and get an education.  At one school Roy visited, he met with a teacher who said the one thing she would love for her students to have was a library.
Libraries for Kids International's mission statement is to help schools with little or no internet access establish libraries and enhance educational opportunities.  The organization was formed on May 10, 2019 and is a 501c3.  They mail books as well as provide money so the schools can purchase textbooks.  In Kenya, the government gives schools $5 per student per year.  So far, they have shipped 1,000 books (they really like to send encyclopedias) to 11 schools and have donated $4250 for textbooks.  After the first few shipments, they decided to look into shipping a 40 foot container which would allow 22,000 books to be shipped at one time.  Each container would supply enough books for 150 schools and would cost $15,000.  WJCL did a story on Libraries for Kids International that went viral.  After the news coverage, the shipping company said they would give a 2 for 1 deal on the containers and people local and around the country donated money to help with the cost.  They are now able to ship 8 containers which will start libraries in 1200 schools.  There are 6717 schools in Kenya without internet access so Roy says they still have a way to go.  His vision is for this organization to go worldwide.  He ended his presentation with the quote, "Kindness is a language which blind people see and deaf people hear."  To learn more about this organization or to donate money to their cause, please visit