News Story

Many Assist to Send 8,000 Donated Books to Pacific Island Schools

Children in the Pacific Islands will have a wealth of educational books to read thanks to many caring individuals and organisations. These include Macmillan Publishers Ltd, which donated 8,000 books in collaboration with Scholastic New Zealand Limited; Pacific Assist and Latter-day Saint Charities which are arranging the transfer, storage and shipping; and the labours of 12 missionaries from the New Zealand Auckland Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


The substantial donation of top-quality and exciting children’s books began with a conversation between Lynette Evans, Publishing Manager at Scholastic New Zealand, and Callum Blair, Pacific Assist New Zealand Trustee and member of the Church as a result of an earlier Pacific Assist project loading a donation of desks and chairs from Long Bay College to schools in Fiji. When the opportunity arose to donate books to children in the Pacific Islands, colleagues at Scholastic and Macmillan were quick to help.


The missionaries attended the Warehouse in Onehunga and unloaded the books into storage, awaiting delivery to the Islands. Pacific Assist and Latter-day Saint Charities have often received service from the New Zealand Auckland missionaries, thanks to the support of mission president, Garrick Parr.

Elder Sinisa Bourne, speaking of his experience, reflected, “Moving the resources was fun and it was great to know that we helped the children of the Pacific Islands … overall, it was an experience that we will not forget.”

Missionary sister from the Philippines, Michaela Abaya, commented, “In this world full of chaos, [we] put our hands together and make the world not just a better place, but the best place. Our love and service are needed.”

Nomi and Andrea (Andy) Tafea, from Pacific Assist, are working closely with the local Polynesian school children to help pack and send these books to the islands. Representatives of Latter-day Saint Charities are helping plan the logistics of delivering this wonderful resource to the children of the Pacific. In projects such as this, Pacific Assist arranges for loading and shipping containers to the islands, and Latter-day Saint Charities pays for the shipping.

Pacific Assist Trustee, Callum Blair, said, “These donations could be a regular event as a partnership between all parties. It is a fantastic opportunity to assist in the field of education.”

Scholastic Publishing Manager, Lynette Evans, shared, “We work every day to make sure children and families can have fun reading and learning together. This donation of books by Macmillan Publishers and the incredible work of Pacific Assist and Latter-day Saint Charities to put books in the hands of children in the Pacific is fantastic to be part of.  It was fun working with the young missionaries who were so generous with their time unloading the books.”

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