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Minnesota nonprofit ships 22,000 books to kids in Ebola-stricken Liberia

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More than 22,000 books collected in Minnesota are being shipped to primary and secondary students in Liberia, who are out of school because of the Ebola outbreak.

“We are pleased to be able to send books to Liberian students during this time of great need,” Patrick Plonski, executive director of Books For Africa, a Minnesota-based nonprofit, said Tuesday, according to KSTP. “While the immediate need is for medical workers and others to end the Ebola crisis, students must still have the opportunity to continue their education. We appreciate the generosity of Minnesotans who helped make possible this shipment of books to Liberia.”

A ceremony recognizing the shipment was held Tuesday morning. The books are on the way to Liberia – funds for the shipment were raised during Give to the Max day.

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“It’s all about finding the books, finding the money to send the books, and finding good partners in Africa to distribute those books [to children] effectively,” Plonski told Publishers Weekly.

The BFA is raising money to send more books to Liberia in 2015 as part of its overall mission to end the book famine on the continent of Africa.

Books for Africa is the world's largest shipper of donated text and library books to Africa, shipping over 31 million books to 49 different countries since 1988, according to the organization's website.

Also at Tuesday's ceremony was Major Gen. Neal Loidolt of the Minnesota National Guard, The Associated Press says. He'll be commanding U.S. ground forces, including members of the Minnesota Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, when they're deployed to Liberia in April to help with the Ebola outbreak.

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