I'll be out of town on Mar 23, so I won't be able to volunteer this month. But I'm leaving the event open for volunteers to sign up.
There are several experienced volunteers at the B.I.G. warehouse, so you'll have plenty of guidance. When you arrive, just let them know that you signed up with Meetup.com, or mention my name (Mitch), and they'll give you some instructions on volunteer duties.
I'm planning on returning for the next event in April.
For over 15 years, Books for International Goodwill (B.I.G.) has successfully recycled used books for productive use by those who need books for schools and libraries to improve literacy in developing communities around the world. B.I.G. is a project begun by the Parole Rotary Club of Annapolis and is now an independent non-profit entity. It's motto is "Spreading Literacy by Keeping Books Alive".
We'll be sorting books by age level, and will pack them for shipment to overseas locations. B.I.G. has shipped millions of books to Africa, Eastern Europe, and other areas of the world.
If there's sufficient interest, we may go to lunch afterwards at a nearby restaurant.
Directions and general info:
Directions to the warehouse can be found at http://big-books.org/map.php.
Most of us will be at the back of the warehouse, packing pallets of books for shipping.
You'll want to wear some old clothes, since they might get a little dirty. You may also want to bring a pair of work gloves.
SORTING AND PACKING GUIDELINES
Note: You’ll be handling cardboard, heavy textbooks, pallets and tape applicators. Bring gloves to save protect your hands! BIG does have a few pair of light cotton gloves if you forget.
Sort books into categories (e.g. high school, middle school, elementary). Signs will be on display for the various categories.
Packing: Take a new box and tape the bottom securely (3 or 4 strips lengthwise). If there are several/many of the same book, put them all in the same carton (two different ways to put books into box).
THE BOX MUST BE COMPLETELY FULL, LEVEL WITH THE TOP OF THE BOX. If the box isn’t full, it will collapse when other boxes are put on top of it, making loading difficult and stacking of pallets impossible. If necessary, use smaller paperbacks to completely fill a box. A box that is slightly overfilled is preferable to an under filled box.
Label the Completed Carton. Write contents on all cartons. Don't abbreviate. And if there is primarily one subject in the carton, write that on the box as well. It helps a lot on the receiver’s end in sorting. Apply at least one Yellow B.I.G. label on each box.
Stacking the pallets. Three levels of boxes are stored on each pallet. Each level is comprised of eight boxes. Boxes should be stacked in a bricklayer pattern to distribute the weight and prevent boxes from being crushed.