It’s odd how things get done when there is a will behind it. Isha volunteers in Singapore wanted to send some books to Isha Vidhya libraries in Tamil Nadu and it’s wonderful to see the enthusiasm and organization they put into the task.

The starting point was a young volunteer, a grade 12 student who had organized a small book drive through her school and friends in March 2012. When the Isha Vidhya Project Director learned about this, he suggested a book drive to cover all of Singapore. And so it began.

Initially word was spread through Isha Singapore’s monthly newsletter. Supporters also made announcements at the monthly get-together. Book collection points were designated and meditators began to drop off books when they attended the get-together. People with large collections to give away started calling and mailing. One volunteer drove to people’s homes to collect books personally.

Another volunteer, who runs an enrichment class for primary school children, put up a notice at her school and encouraged her students to donate at least two books each. She also told her sister who works in Tanglin High School (British school) about the book drive – her sister, in turn, came forward with a bulk donation from their school library. Another friend of hers then donated a large collection of books from her personal home library.

The book drive gathered books of all sorts – educational books for children, fiction, informative non-fiction etc. Volunteers coordinated storage, sorting and packing of books, as well as transportation.

When it came to sending the books to the schools, at first the Singapore volunteers sent 15 cartons to India through other volunteers who hand-carried these boxes during their travel. But now this was getting big. The volunteers then contacted the shipping agent “Transpole Logistics” who rendered their service free of cost, and shipped 33 cartons of books to Isha Vidhya.

Congratulations, Singapore volunteers for the amazingly successful book drive!