Lubbock child starting a library in Africa needs your donations

Reported by: Ashley Claster
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Updated: 11/06/2013 9:44 pm
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Most 9-year-olds want toys, games and electronics for their birthday. Addie Bleu Short wanted something bigger and better, and it was not even for her.

"I just really like to help people," Addie Bleu said, "Whenever somebody is sad, I always go over and try to make them feel better."

She decided she wanted to do something incredible.

"I'm doing something called The African Library Project," Addie Bleu said, "If  I collect 1,000 gently used children's books, and raise enough money for shipping, I can send a whole library to children in Africa."

Addie Bleu's mother, Tiffany Short, was shocked when her daughter came to her with the idea.

"I was kind of like you want to do what?" Short said, "But, you can't really tell your child no if she wants to do something like that."

Short said Addie Bleu decided to send her first library to Botswana. The third grader was shocked when she found out there are no libraries, and over half of the children do not know how to read.

"The kids, they have to work. Most of them don't even get to go to school because their parents die from AIDS, and they have to take care of their younger brothers and sisters," Addie Bleu said, "and so I think whenever they get all that work done, they can just sit down and read a book. And they can be able to go somewhere else with no struggling and no worries."

She's almost collected enough for two libraries, and is about to start her third.

"And we have to send them in English," Addie Bleu explained, "because if they learn the English Language, then they will be able to get a good job, and go to college, and better school like that."

Addie Bleu has already collected 1,600 books. Now what she really needs, is money to ship them off.

"And we're still asking for books. But we need donations. We're doing little fundraising things," Short said, "She's made bookmarks, and necklaces, and small things to try and help. But donations for shipping. I've set her up a little page on the internet."

The first library will go to a primary school called Makolo in the Serowe Southwest region of Botswana. Once the books arrive, Peace Corps volunteers will set up the library and train the librarian.

"I think this whole thing is born out of her love for reading," Short said, "It's amazing to me."

"It sort of takes me into a different world," Addie Bleu said, "So I just think that every kid deserves a book."

It is a lesson in kindness and giving that we could all learn, from a little girl who has a lot of books and a lot of heart.

If you would like to donate money for shipping costs, click here. She would love any amount you can spare.

If you would like to donate more children's books, visit Addie Bleu's Facebook page here.
There are drop off boxes at the following locations in Lubbock through November:

J & B Coffee
Barnes & Noble
Rush Elementary
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