Betsy Dickey was shocked when she realized the depth of the need for new books and libraries in which to put them for children of Rwanda whose parents survived one of the most horrific mass slaughters of the 20th century. She was nearly just as startled and dismayed to realize how much she had to learn about what is involved in becoming a hands-on philanthropist rather than just a checkbook donor.

"I was nearly 50, I am well educated, I didn't have many illusions about the process-or so I thought. But I was literally overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the need, the intense deprivation-and the confusion on the ground among all kinds of other well-intentioned people," says Dickey, who in 2005 began volunteer work in Rwanda that led her to form Ready for Reading, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and supporting a community library and learning center in Rwinkwavu, Rwanda.

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