Used book drive aids local community
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The American Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual used book drive here, early this fall. The used book drive is an event where Status of Forces Agreement personnel donate books and later provide the Japanese community with English reading material as a way to bridge the two communities on Okinawa, Japan together. This is exactly what Dr. Scott Goldberg, American Chamber of Commerce governor in Okinawa, the Wired Bean and volunteers did.
"A lot of young Japanese want to learn English, and there's a big shortage of books for them to use," said Dr. Goldberg. "We thought a used book drive would be a great way to help them learn."
The American Chamber of Commerce used book drive was established to provide English reading materials to the local Japanese community, schools and libraries. This allows the community to become more familiar with the language, and provided opportunities for Status of Forces Agreement personnel to assist the Japanese locals and shows them we're here to help.
"The schools in the local community with whom we work with expressed interest in getting books, so the need for the books is there and it's a way to tie the military community to the outside community," said Dr. Goldberg.
The book drive consisted of two parts, the collection of books and the separating of books by grade levels. The collecting of books began on Aug. 1st- Sept. 15th, with collection points set up at the base commissary and the chapels on Kadena. The separating of books was held on Nov. 9th at the Seaman's Club in Naha city, where more than 30 volunteers from Kadena and Camp Foster helped sort more than 3,500 books collected for this year's drive.
The drive has ended for this year and the books are sorted and ready to be delivered to the local community, making this year's drive an over whelming success by not only achieving and exceeding their total book collection goal, but also assisting a need in local community.
"We surpassed our goal for last year, and exceeded our goal tremendously (this year)," said Dr. Goldberg. "It's largely part of the base involvement. When you give people the chance to give, they want to help."
If any extra books were accumulated, Dr. Goldberg suggests sending them to deployed members or donating them to the Seaman's Club library.