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Book sale helps youth in need

January 8, 2014
By JIM LINETTE ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

New and used book donations are being accepted through Friday at Cape Coral High School as well as the Sip & Send USPS store on Santa Barbara Boulevard. Donated items will benefit the Sports Build Coalition's creative combination of youth sports and book programs to help needy communities.

Donated books are sorted for suitability for the targeted communities. Those not appropriate for their libraries or schools are sold to raise funds to ship the books overseas where they are desperately needed.

The Sports Build Coalition (SBC), established five years ago by Mary Plageman, is having a large book sale on at the Kiwanis Banquet Hall, 360 Santa Barbara Blvd., on Jan. 19 and 20. Book sale hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 20. Light refreshments will be offered.

During the event volunteers will be dressed as their favorite author or favorite fictional literary character. Maps, magazines, texts and reference items also are available in addition to the books.

Plageman utilized the worldwide concept of "sports for social change" as the foundation for the SBC nonprofit which assists communities address some very fundamental needs.

The economic downturn undermined normal fund-raising activities familiar to the Plageman family, which has been involved in working with youth and youth sports programs for many years.

Despite the downturn, Plageman found out that contributors were more eager and able to donate items rather than money. That sparked the collection campaigns, such as books, sports items and other used goods. Over the years, SBC has directed its efforts to underprivileged areas in Kenya, Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and others in the southeastern USA.

Real expenses like storage of donated items and their shipping are paid by the funds from the book sale and monetary donations. Volunteers help SBC handle, store and ship donated items as well as paying their own way to go on trips to the communities receiving the aid.

"Initial libraries in central Kenya and Uganda have been a part of the SBC initiative," said Plageman. "The combination of sports and book programs may seen contradictory. It is actually a happy marriage and makes large strides to expose and encourage young people to help their communities grow. First, learning lessons through sports, then the reinforcement of education with actual books and learning materials."

Lovers of learning (and sports) are encouraged to see the many items available at the book sale. All non-fiction titles (novels) from many bestselling authors are included as well as every type of printed matter used in the literary scheme, from cookbooks and magazines to reference books.

To get involved in the Sports Build Coalition, call 239-677-7498 or email Mary Plageman at



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