Books for Africa drive at Schenectady County Community College

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By Gianluca Russo
Campus News

A new policy at Schenectady County Community College requires all clubs and organizations to hold one event benefiting a charity each year. While many may moan at the sound of this, some clubs are taking advantage of the new policy and giving back this holiday season.

One of these clubs is Rhythms Literary Club. Each year, the club holds open submissions from the SCCC campus community and creates a literary magazine. In an attempt to save money for charity events, Rhythms has decided to make their magazine online this year.

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In early November, the club held their first open mic night of the year. The event, open to the community, showcased many students and faculty members and allowed them to share original work such as poems, songs, and short stories. “It went really well,” says Rhythms Vice President Noah Smith, a second-year student at SCCC. “We had a number of really great and unique performances as well as a good turnout exceeding our projected number of attendees.”

The club held a 50/50 raffle during the open mic night with all proceeds donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady. Smith told us how happy it made him, along with other club members, feel when donating the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club on giving that Tuesday.

Now, though their charitable requirement has been fulfilled, the club has decided to hold another event: a book drive.  Rhythms is teaming up with Books For Africa leading up to winter break to hold a book drive on the SCCC campus. “We wanted to do something to really help kids. Having done an open mic and helping local children, we wanted to help people internationally,” says Smith. “This was in part due to our group having a number of immigrants who spoke vocally for us to consider donating to a foreign country.”

According to their website, “The mission of Books For Africa is to end the book famine in Africa. They are shipped in sea containers paid for by contributions from people like you. It costs about 50 cents to send a book from the United States to Africa.” The organization has donated more than 36 million books to nearly 50 countries since its beginnings in 1988.

Students, faculty, and community members are encouraged to drop books off in donation boxes around SCCC through winter break.