Books for the Barrios, Inc.

aka BftB   |   Walnut Creek, CA   |


BOOKS for the BARRIOS is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening elementary school education in the Philippines and other war-torn countries of the world, including Afghanistan, so that all children "even the most disadvantaged" can receive a great education. Our award-winning approach emphasizes local community involvement in the Philippines and the United States. Our programs are based on very real needs in both the Philippines and the U.S. Some of the concerns our programs are designed to address include economic development through education, environmental conservation, landfill diversion, environmental education and character education. Our present programmes include working with other NPOs in establishing communications and directives for providing and assisting with the funding of educational materials, teacher training, feedings schemes and more in war-torn countries throughout the world.

Notes from the nonprofit

As we enter our fourth decade of service to disadvantaged children the volunteers of BOOKS for the BARRIOS are building on a proud heritage of best practice performance in the field of global philanthropy. We advance all of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals by creating local organization and family green action programs to provide education opportunity for rural women in conflict areas. We have received occasional foundation grants and corporate sponsorships, but most our financial support has come from chore money donated by the 100,000 Bay Area children who have participated in BOOKS for the BARRIOS peace initiative programs in their school character and citizenship curriculum. In kind community support, especially from the good people at LBC Corporation, who provide free shipping to remote schools without limit, makes our efficiency quotient (production vs. cost) unbeatable.
Since 2006 we have provided extensive, comprehensive close ground support of our military combat forces deployed to provide stable conditions for peaceful development in forward conflict areas around the world. As no funds for this citizen’s initiative have been forthcoming from official sources to date, our resources have been stretched to the limit. As a result, for the first time in our proud history as a 501(c)(3) California corporation for public benefit, BOOKS for the BARRIOS will be forced to deny our services to eager American children and their teachers. We especially dread the day we must curtail our work with our nation’s soldiers and sailors, permanently stationed in harm’s way overseas, whose primary mission involves developing local deprived public schools.
BOOKS for the BARRIOS has less than one month’s operating funds in hand as of this writing. Public action will determine the future of our movement to protect our American culture of peace. Please give what you can.
I appeal to Americans to support our patriotic cause in order that our troops can return home safe and soon. I assure you that our mission provides the comprehensive, integrated best result for local development in hard places where they struggle to protect the children by helping them rise from poverty.

Dan Harrington

Ruling year info


President and Executive Director

Ms. Nancy Harrington

Main address

1125 Wiget Lane

Walnut Creek, CA 94598 USA

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NTEE code info

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (Q19)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Post Conflict Reconstruction Projects

The backbone of the Books for the Barrios(BftB) approach is the redistribution of high-quality educational materials from the United States to poor, remote schools in Philippine barrios. Our national National "Model-of-Excellence Schools" and National Teacher Training Convention programs assure that these materials are used effectively. BftB also involves U.S. children in breaking the cycle of poverty, promoting awareness of poor conditions in other countries and sustaining the future viability of our work. To that end, our American Schools Program reaches out to U.S. children to donate supplies, pack shipments and learn about the children abroad who benefit from these efforts. In addition to addressing poverty and access to education, our efforts benefit the environment: We make productive use of large volumes of material that otherwise would become landfill, and emphasize environmental education of both Filipino and U.S. children throughout our programs. BftB regularly advises individuals and organizations interested in replicating our model. Please visit our website,, for detailed descriptions of all of our programs.

Population(s) Served

I would like to offer you a field trip opportunity that will build the self-esteem in your students or scouts by empowering them to reach out to the 18 million disadvantaged children in the most remote islands of the Philippines. Children will receive a lesson in character and citizenship that is designed expressly to meet their needs.

             BOOKS for the BARRIOS, Inc. is an all-volunteer led, non-profit corporation that recycles discarded textbooks and learning supplies from Bay Area Schools and publishers. We are working to use the resources of our nation's finest educational material in order to help break the cycle of poverty and dependence through quality public educational opportunity.

             Your class can collect the following materials during the weeks prior to your fieldtrip and bring them with you to the BftB National Children’s Educational Sharing Center in Concord:


Board Games, Puzzles

Small Toys, Stuffed Animals

Crayons, Pencils, Scissors

Encyclopedias(1985 or younger), Dictionaries

Children's Storybooks

Clean Girls’ Party Dresses

National Geographic Magazine

Baseballs, Gloves, Uniforms and Equipment

Tennis Balls and Play Balls

Computer Systems (Pentium 3 or better)

             At our facility your students will view slides of our project, pack boxes on pallets, learn to shrink wrap, taste a Filipino treat, and learn how they can improve the lives of their less fortunate peers as they "Think Globally, Act Locally.” Each class will feel proud as they receive their Certificate of Appreciation for their volunteer action. Your children will bond with the recipient children of the rainforests and remote islands of the Philippines in a spirit of goodwill and friendship. 

             We encourage teachers to view our facility and sign up their classes. We can accommodate up to forty (40) children. You will need adult supervision for every ten (10) children.

Population(s) Served

TOYS for TROOPS: Help the Troops Help Children in Need during the Holidays.  This holiday season BOOKS for the BARRIOS will be collecting TOYS for TROOPS...  so start collecting new/used educational supplies now. These toys will go to the American Special Forces engaged in the war on terror. BOOKS for the BARRIOS provides educational resources to support their humanitarian projects. They have recognized that education is key to their peacekeeping efforts. Terrorism posses a serious threat, as Al Qaeda and other groups are active in the Philippines. Please support our troops' global humantarian mission to create peace through their education

Population(s) Served

Books for the Barrios + Trust In Education join together to provide Education to 400 kids in war-torn Afghanistan(  
“…as of last night, we are committed to work with Trust In Education( to provide educational materials and books for a new school for 400 girls in Afghanistan!!… the name of the place in Afghanistan is FARZA, about 25 miles north of Kabul….there are teachers there but no building yet….the donations will not leave until the end of April which is fine….this new contact takes care of all the logistics etc….met the Ambassador last night….smart and committed….Nabi says not many kids learn English there but I convinced him it is a MUST….I am packing this all myself so all the books are culturally appropriate…I need learning toys and games….he said the stuffed toys will be a big hit…"
Books For The Barrios
From Nancy Harrington, President of
This does not in any way diminish our work in the Philippines, but we can do this in 4 pallet positions of 35 apple sized boxes each….[XX} live thirty minutes away from Travis and we have a truck and volunteers to take it up there…We are willing to do the clearances required for USAID  …I am optimistic that we will obtain an endorsement from Ambassador Jawad here in the US…Gates, Peteras, the President in Cairo ALL say that the soft operation can work, however they are unsure of how to actually go about making it "happen".  [We are] going to continue to pack all 140 boxes with all the PRIMO stuff…stuffed toys, learning games,manipulatives, art supplies, beautiful early learning picture books all screened by me…..colored paper, glue, etc….We have been told that there are safe houses where these boxes can be stored until the school is completed in 10 months….

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

BOOKS for the BARRIOS helps American Special Forces troops build girl’s schools in remote conflict areas in the developing world. Bay Area schoolchildren reuse their education opportunity for the ecology of the human spirit of disadvantaged children. Each dollar contributed causes high-quality learning books to be sent to twenty eager young scholars for whom literacy is their only weapon in their struggle against poverty and social deprivation. Our volunteers aim to continue this peace operaton.

BOOKS for the BARRIOS, Inc. is a not-for-profit, public-benefit California corporation run completely by volunteers that collects school textbooks, educational learning aids and devices from schools, publishers and schoolchildren in the United States and delivers them to remote barrio public schools throughout the Republic of the Philippines. Priority is given to those schools that are the most deprived and most remotely located without regard for politics, religion or ethnicity. BOOKS for the BARRIOS, Inc. has developed an efficient organization of volunteers who turn each dollar of financial support into $100 worth of educational materials placed into the hands of the teachers and students most in need. BftB also provides professional teacher training programs to advance the instructional technology of the national educational delivery system. Selected severely deprived public schools are transformed and maintained as world-class learning institutions that set the national standard. BftB organizes U.S. schoolchildren to participate as a humanitarian service project. The corporation is the largest of its kind working in the Philippines, having brought a brighter future to 10,000 eager pupils each week for the past twenty-two years.

0 Number of BftB Paid Employees
10,000 American schoolchildren participate annually
600 Deprived schools receive books each year
600,000 Books donated each year
$180,000 Annual BftB Expenses
14 Million Books donated to date
70,000 National Model-of-Excellence Schools pupils
10 Books donated for each $1.00 contributed
16,000 Libraries established in remote public schools
8,000 Cases delivered to American combat troops
8,000 Public school teacher mentors trained
71 Advanced public academies sponsored in perpetuity

In 2013 BOOKS for the BARRIOS (BftB) shipped 188,000 pounds of educational material to needy children, filling four 20-foot container vans, without loss or diversion. The donations were distributed to hundreds of deprived public schools that lacked classroom resources and reference learning materials. Other initiatives that achieved success include:
• The BftB National “Model-of-Excellence School” Program (Model School) was institutionalized by the Philippine Department of Education by DepEd Order #50 which requires all 43,000 elementary schools to embrace the requirements set forth. The program, which transforms large, severely deprived elementary schools into world-class institutions of learning by development of curriculum and instruction, now supports full-time seventy-eight sites nation-wide. Endowed with resource materials and consulting by BftB, they set the standard for the comprehensive development of all of the nation’s public schools. Seventy thousand eager pupils and their 1,500 teachers are served by the Model School Program.
• Our BftB Donor Children’s Program is an outstanding vehicle for American students to express their compassion. Thousands of youngsters participated in academic class field trips to BftB headquarters and conducted reuse donation drives at their schools. Their teachers report that the children were profoundly transformed by their green action experience.
• Close ground logistic and training support of American troops deployed to war-torn trouble spots received our highest priority. Coordination with local political officials, Department of Education officers, Philippine military leaders, insurgent force representatives, and ordinary citizens in the conflict zones insure that our peace-keeping operators enjoy the maximum benefit of our post-conflict reconstruction expertise and resources. Two thousand cases of precious learning resources have been delivered directly to our troops.


Books for the Barrios, Inc.

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Books for the Barrios, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 05/20/2014
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dan Harrington

Retired Captain - American Airlines

Dan Harrington

Retired Captain - American Airlines

Cherie Woo


Ken Myers

Accountant - Self Employed

Nancy Harrington

Substitute teacher - Mt Diablo Unified School Dist

Paula Goodwin

Law Partner - Goodwin Associates

Lisa Hoy

Teacher - Dubai

Curt Snarr

Managing Paartner - GSS Consulting, LLC

Gweneth Miguel

Capital Group Companies