WESTCHESTER, IL, Jan 15, 2018 – On October 5, 2017, tropical storm Nate and a separate Pacific storm depression combined to create a catastrophic weather event in Nicaragua. A full moon high tide and storm surge placed much of the area around Limón, including their local CREA Center, under more than four feet of water, destroying more than 4,000 books and all of the Center’s computers. Their fixed and mobile libraries were rendered completely inoperative. A vital aspect of the organization’s mission is literacy, so without books, how could they continue the fight to enhance lives in the community?
Oakland, California-based CREA reached out to Follett for help. And they had very specific needs. The CREA Center is in a very rural part of Nicaragua so shipping was a challenge; they needed elementary school level books; and since no one in the area speaks English, those books needed to be in Spanish.
In true Follett and Baker & Taylor fashion, we were able to source and donate 10,000 Spanish books for CREA! The ability to help this organization in such a huge way was due, in most part, to the work and resourcefulness of “Book Fairy Godmother” Lynn Bond, Divisional Merchandising Director at Baker & Taylor.
In an email to Lynn and Britten Follett, CREA’s board member and Treasurer Michelle Chackerian said the following:
“After the storm, our bookshelves were empty. Slowly but surely they are coming back to life, giving greater access and resources to children and youth. This is in thanks to you! I am sending a few photos so you can see us in the process of unloading and organizing the books. There were over 30 people there helping us for days on end. All ages as you can see. And with huge smiles on their faces! What an amazing gift for this community.”
Also, with the influx of the books Follett donated, CREA is looking for an innovative way to organize, track and lend the books and are now considering our Destiny line of services to help them! Needless to say, we’d be happy to continue partnering with CREA and help them create a first-class library to increase literacy across Nicaraguan communities.
Learn more about CREA Nicaragua here.