CALABASAS, Calif., Aug. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Charity, Books Build Bridges (www.booksbuildbridges.com), led by Chaminade High 12th grader, Benjamin Sweeney, ventured to Costa Rica to deliver thousands of books collected over Covid!
In connection with Asociacion Crear, the Four Seasons, and Asociacion Creciendo Juntos https://creciendojuntoscr.org/, Los Angeles teens, Benjamin (12th grade) & his brother, Christopher (10th grade), delivered books and lunches and built book libraries for youth throughout Costa Rica. Among the schools receiving the books were Escuela Guardia, Comunidad and Paso Tempisque in the Papagayo Peninsula and Samara. Benjamin shared, «It was eye-opening to see the school environment, the towns across Costa Rica, and the need for books and libraries. Beyond that was the connection with the youth of Costa Rica. The students were respectful, excited, and engaged., asking great questions and sharing the need for us to return with even more books!»
The youth in Costa Rica returned to school after 3+ years in an uncertain academic environment, including Covid and teacher strikes. It was a heart-warming experience where language was not a barrier. There is clearly a need for more books throughout Costa Rica, as well as the opportunity to continue to ‘build bridges’ with charitable givers in the US. The experience and discussions sparked inspiration for further service in these communities.
Benjamin and Christopher formed Books Build Bridges, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, while volunteering at Los Angeles based Guadalupe Center. Ben observed many students did not have age-appropriate reading material. During COVID, and because of a surplus of ‘free time’ to collect books, Ben collected tens of thousands of books! He donated them to the Guadalupe Center, foster children resource centers, Catholic Charities of America, and women’s centers. Still, more books remained. «The number of books donated became almost overwhelming. We had no idea the desire of people to get involved and help,» said Benjamin.
Benjamin researched and identified communities in Costa Rica that needed books, so the planning began. Ben & Chris also collected money to donate book mailboxes in connection with Asociacion Crear (https://www.asociacioncrear.org/). They will continue to work with local communities to collect, sort and distribute books throughout the US, Costa Rica and beyond. Next in the planning is a book collection event with the Calabasas Senior Center and Chaminade.
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SOURCE Books Build Bridges, Inc.