New Jersey Schools and Libraries Raise Funds for Refugee Camp Library

We are thrilled to announce on World Refugee Day that booklovers across New Jersey have pledged their support for Darfuri refugees' literacy, raising nearly $4,000 towards our work developing libraries in Darfuri refugee camps in Chad! Under a month-long initiative led by the New Jersey State Library, students, librarians, and patrons at the following schools and libraries raised $3,945 to help ensure that Darfuri children, who have lost almost everything, will not also lose a childhood of reading. Their support will help a society devastated by genocide gain knowledge it needs to build a more secure future.

Tremendous thanks for the generosity of:

  • North Hunterdon High School (Annandale, NJ)
  • Washington Township Public High School IMC (Sewell, NJ)
  • Rancocas Valley Regional High School Library (Mt. Holly, NJ)
  • Cape May County Library (Cape May Court House, NJ)
  • Readington Middle School (Whitehouse Station, NJ)
  • Pennsauken Free Public Library (Pennsauken, NJ)
  • Middletown Township Public Library (Middletown, NJ)
  • Lodi Memorial Library (Lodi, NJ)
  • Butler Public Library (Butler, NJ)

We especially want to recognize the very successful effort by English students at North Hunterdon High School, who led the way with more than $2,500 raised! The students gave some of their precious Spring Break time to the cause, with a community service project called "Read for Refugees." Students reading on Spring Break is impressive enough, but doing it to help others is simply amazing!

Thanks also to the staff at these schools and libraries for lending their organizational skills, creativity, and time to the project. Being a teacher or librarian is already more than a full-time job, so we're very grateful for their leadership.

A huge thanks to the New Jersey State Library for pioneering the first statewide fundraiser we know of on behalf of refugee camp libraries! This could not have happened without the critical support of Youth Services Coordinator Sharon Rawlins and the rest of the NJSL team, including Sheri Shafer, Gary Cooper, and the State Librarian, Norma Blake.

Thank you, New Jersey!

If you missed out on the fundraiser, but would like to contribute, pick up our book of short stories for young adults, What You Wish For. The renowned contributing authors all gave their writing pro bono, and we are giving 100% of our proceeds to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to fund library development in the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad. You can also donate directly.