In November of last year, FUEL Youth board member Sean O’Connor connected with his former elementary school, Saint Philomena’s School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to chat with the sixth grade class about FUEL’s work in Liberia. Over a Skype video chat, the students asked what it was like in Liberia and what challenges face FUEL in its efforts as well as how they could help. The students were working on a project with their teacher, Ms. Samantha Hedden, to develop a model for a non-profit that fit their philanthropic interests. FUEL served as inspiration for them in this process.
To FUEL’s surprise, the students quickly mobilized and within a few weeks, collected over 27 boxes of books to support FUEL’s library programs in Liberia. In early February, a friend of FUEL, Dan O’Connor, drove the books down to Philadelphia, where they left on a cargo ship bound for Liberia. FUEL Youth will be having a library dedication ceremony at their school outside of Monrovia in April of this year, as well as administering library workshops to introduce this new resource to the students, faculty, and community.
The contribution of Saint Philomena’s School is only 1 example of the fantastic response to FUEL’s Fall/Winter 2011 book drive in the United States. Students from Concordia Lutheran School in Peoria, Illinois also took part, as did FUEL Youth supporters from all across the country, who bought books from an Amazon wishlist set up by FUEL.
Thanks to all the supporters of the book drive. We look forward to keeping you updated with the library progress come April! But our thanks only go so far. A big thanks from the students at UCA who the library will benefit. Check it out below!