Give Books to Schools
Microsoft executive John Wood was trekking in Nepal, a country with one of the world's highest illiteracy rates, when he happened to walk into a school with dirt floors that turned to mud in the rain. The school was completely devoid of books. "[It] seemed so inherently wrong," he says. So he launched an Internet book drive and in a month received over 3,000 books. Today his Room to Read charity has built 197 schools and 2,587 libraries in developing countries. You can help by underwriting specific schools or donating to scholarships for girls. Or you might read Wood's new book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. Who knows? You might be inspired to do the same.
This story appears in the December 25, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.