Camel Book Drive

Donate To Kenya’s Mobile Library

Email from Donors

Would you please use this donation to purchase one she-camel? This is in honor of my mother Mary Petrino. My mother is 80 years old. She just underwent difficult heart surgery and survived. I am grateful to God for this, and so make the donation in her name. She is happy that a camel will be helping people get books to read. Her own mother from Sicily was illiterate, and suffered much violence. My mother also had a very difficult life, but she is strong, and a survivor, like the camel. If you want to call the camel Mary after her, that is okay too, or whatever is appropriate.

I work in several libraries in Arlington, Virginia in the USA, mainly checking books in and out, making library cards, and occasionally doing reference work (I, like the camel, travel to different branches as needed). Our patrons are from all walks of life and many countries as we are so close to Washington, DC. We help many newcomers to the USA. I live very close to the Pentagon, which was attacked in 2001. I believe the only way to end violence in the world is with love and learning. May God bless you and the camels in your great work. With respect,  Marianne G Petrino-Schaad

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I grew up in a small town in Ireland and our local library was tiny, but I spent a lot of my time there.  I can’t imagine a life without books, even in this techo-heavy age and I’m so glad that people are doing their part to ensure that every child, even the most disadvantaged, is exposed to the wonder of other worlds, other words and other ideas. Suzanne O’Donoghue, Toronto, Canada

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I grew up in Schooley’s Mountain, NJ, when it was utterly rural and one of my mother’s great successes was convincing the Morris County library to create a bookmobile and have it stop in our neighborhood once a month.  My novel (Design Flaws Of the Human Condition) is dedicated to her memory. In any event, congratulations to you for this worthwhile effort! Very best regards, Paul Schmidtberger

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It’s wonderful to read this site and the kind of work you are doing. I wish many people could be as generous as you are with this poor children in Africa. I am an old student of these schools in Garissa which are receiving your assistance and I am now doing my masters in the U.K. It’s my hope that when I go back, I can contribute to your project in one way or another. I have been following this project for some time and I think I can bring some helpful contact back home when I go back. Hope to meet you one day.Regards, Mohamed Korane, MA Finance, Accounting & Management, University Of Bradford, UK

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I just finished reading your book and enjoyed it so much and was inspired to help this project.  I gave the book to my mother who I’m sure will feel the same way.  I will donate some books for the children as soon as I get paid.Cindy Gerardi

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I grew up in Libya and bought my first books (and Archie comics which seemed to belong to another planet) from an old man who carted them round on a donkey. How nice it is to now be able to supply another 4-legged library.

Nicole Aragi, agent

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This project has just resonated with me. Reading has been a salvation for me for so many years — the thought of it being that for some child or adult on the other side of the world — the opportunity to learn and dream and be transported by books even in the remotest of worlds is such an incredible blessing for you all to give.  I have such amazing memories of summers in the library and in the bookstores, I imagine my excitement at a trip to the library can only be a drop in the bucket to those in
Kenya when the camel and the librarians arrive.
Sarah Binion, Austin, TX

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I was born in such a small town in northern Wisconsin that we didn’t have a library.  We had the bookmobile (looked like a big white whale on wheels) and when that came to town, the excitement was huge overall and in my family in particular. I grew up with a strong oral storytelling tradition.  So that hunger for literature was very real in my youth and now to own books is still thrilling to me.  I can’t imagine a life without them.

Mary Relindes Ellis 

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Our family lived in Kijabe, Kenya from August 2003 until April 2004.  We worked in a mission hospital alongside Kenyan doctors and nurses to care for the needy.  But the poor in our area were rich compared with those in the north of Kenya, where drought had made (and still makes) life far more difficult.  I am glad to hear of the Camel Book Drive and am joyful to think of young Kenyans holding and reading the books I’ve sent.

Amy Givler

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I grew up on a mission in Zimbabwe, so am more than thrilled to support your effort in Kenya. I have sent off a pile of books today. I chose what I call “Africa” appropriate books from my own selection: universal themes that will, I hope, speak to any child in any country in the world. I’m not entirely convinced that “any old book” is quite good enough. Only the best is good enough for these great people! All the best in your brilliant efforts, Mem Fox. 

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I sent 27 lbs., 0.2 oz. of books to Kenya from Oberlin, Ohio on March 7. There are about 60 books, all gently used, from my bookshelves. I am glad to help out and will look for suitable books at yardsales this spring so I can ship more at another time. Good luck with the project. Laura Paxton 

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Just wanted to let you know that I will be speaking at a huge leadership convention in Albuquerque this week and will mention your Camel Book Drive during my presentation. Tomorrow I am mailing an M-bag of books to Kenya. Hope many more people will do so!

Margriet Ruurs

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My kids helped me select the books yesterday, we had a great time of it, picked up a dozen little picture books and then spied a series I hadn’t seen before in which each book had a list of facts on a given subject: weather, scientific inventions, mammals, birds, explorers, etc. The pages were nicely laid out and simple to read, not the confusing jumble of facts you see in some of those series where the chaos on the page can make you want to run away! So we picked up most of these too. I passed over the one on Dolphins, and when my son, who is eleven, called this to my attention, I told him most of the kids who would be looking at these books would probably never have seen a dolphin – thinking of the irrelevance of these creatures to these children’s lives. And he said, “But isn’t that the point, Mom?”Indeed.So we got the book on dolphins too.

Elizabeth Crook

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April 6, 2003 - Posted by | Email

10 Comments »

  1. Who would of thought that a simple article would inspire someone so much. I thank the editor’s of Family Circle for putting this article in the magazine so that I could read it and help fufill a need. God Bless all that are involved with this wonderful and life changing cause.
    No Good Deed will be Forgotten.

    Comment by Tessa Wright | March 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Dear Masha, I’ve had a follow up email from Mr Farah re the project to write and publish local stories. On 9 June he wrote” Dear Louise, thank you very much for your bright ideas, in fact we have already started commissioning the manuscripts and have even received some donations to kick start the project. For one title with enough copies we estimate it to cost us $3000 and we intend to publish at least 5 different titles or more depending on donations received. Hoping to receiving your donations Thank you” So can I urge your readers to donate to this project and I will see what I can do locally to raise some funds. Can we use your website as the most efficient way to deposit the money for the local story project to ensure it goes straight to the Camel bookmobile? Thanks Louise

    Comment by Louise Allison | June 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. Dear Mr. Farah,
    We sent a box of books about a month ago. We’re making sure you received them before we forward more. We included books for toddlers, young adults and adults. Hopefully they were received and enjoyed.
    Sincerely,
    Lisa and Joyce Stetson
    Stetson Design
    Pompano Beach, Florida 33062
    USA

    Comment by Lisa Stetson | August 12, 2008 | Reply

  4. I am writing to see if the Magic School Bus books from Scholastic would be appropriate. They are an imaginary bunch of tales about learning. If they are, I have 5-6 to send, plus a few others. Thank you.

    Comment by Georgia Wessling | September 26, 2008 | Reply

  5. I am getting ready to send box #2. I hope you received box #1 okay with the Country Magazines. I will try to send one box each month until I can’t do it any longer.

    Comment by Georgia Wessling | November 5, 2008 | Reply

  6. COMPLIMENTI ANCORA DALL’ITALIA.
    OLIVIA PETITTA

    Comment by OLIVIA PETITTA | August 23, 2009 | Reply

  7. JE VIVE A MLAN, EN ITALIE, ET J’AI UNE UN AMIE KENIOTE DE PRENOM NEEMA , COMMENT UN DE PERSONNAGE DU LIVRE DE MASHA HAMILTON.
    JE REVOUDRA EN MILAN MON AMIE NEEMA APRéS L’éTé ET JE LE DONNERA LE LIVRE DE MASHA HAMILTON, QUI PARLE DE SON , ET VOTRE, PAYS.
    AU REVOIR, ENCORE VOTRE OLIVIA PETITTA.

    Comment by OLIVIA PETITTA | August 24, 2009 | Reply

  8. JE VIVE A MLAN, EN ITALIE , ET J’AI UNE AMIE KENIOTE DE PRENOM NEEMA, COMME UN DE PERSONNAGE DU LIVRE DE MASHA HAMILTON. JE DONNERA A’ MON AMIE NEEMA CE LIVRE, QUI PARLE DE SON, ET VOTRE , TRéS BEAU PAYS.
    AU REVOIR. ENCORE VOTRE OLIVIA PETITTA.

    Comment by OLIVIA PETITTA | August 24, 2009 | Reply

  9. Greetings from Toronto Ontario Canada…
    We have a box full of books for adults and children and a colleague will be visiting Kenya very soon. Is it possible that someone can meet her in Nairobi to pick up our collection ?

    Comment by Ana Raposo | October 9, 2009 | Reply

  10. Hi,

    I only want to find out how to contact your organisation. I operate an NGO that is dedicated to the sourcing and supply of books to public Primary schools and communities in Nigeria.

    In Nigeria, there is no single public primary school that has a library. There are no community reading rooms.

    Please, what is/are the condition(s) for benefiting from your projects?

    Thank you and God bless.

    Pastor Andrew Duya
    Executive Director,
    FIRST EDUCATION SUPPORT CENTRE (EDU.FIRST)
    P.O. BOX 6391, IKEJA, LAGOS, NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA.

    Comment by Pastor Andrew Duya | December 22, 2009 | Reply


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