West U Rotary Honors Member’s Service to Books for the World Project
The Rotary Club of West U recently held its annual Vocational Service Awards dinner where it recognized the contributions of members and non-members to their communities and to the world.
Michael Larsson was this year’s recipient of the Vocational Service Award for a Rotarian, given to a member of the West U Rotary Club who uses his/her profession as an avenue of service.
For the past several years Larsson has provided his warehouse space, equipment, time and employees of his business, Total Quality Books, to support the Rotary Club District 5890’s Books for the World project.
The project provides valuable educational resources to kids and families in South Africa and Pakistan where many children go through school without books and where in some areas there may not be a school at all. Larsson’s business, Total Quality Books, sorts through hundreds of thousands of discarded books, resells those with monetary value and makes insulation and other products out of others.
Rotary’s Books for the World project is an exercise in supply chain management, which is why Rotary is so thankful for Larsson’s contribution. Books are collected from individuals, libraries, used bookstores and donation centers. The books are then sorted by language and content, stacked on pallets, wrapped in plastic wrap and loaded into a shipping container, which is taken to the Port of Houston for transport.
“His facility is a critical component in the process,” said Craig Friou, a member of the Club’s vocational service committee. “Michael has generously donated a large portion of the infrastructure needed to make the Books for the World project a huge success.”
In addition to ensuring the success of the Books for the World project, Larsson’s contribution provides volunteer opportunities for hundreds of area high school students and Rotarians. Book sortings take place on one Saturday each month at his warehouse at 3802 Leeland St. Recent book sorting events have attracted nearly 200 area high school students each Saturday looking for opportunities to get involved.