During the early years of Brother’s Brother Foundation, Mrs. Gussie Hingson, wife of BBF Founder Dr. Robert Hingson, would often accompany her husband on his medical mission trips overseas. In 1961, during one of these mission trips, Mrs. Hingson met Victoria Tolbert, the wife of former Vice President William R. Tolbert of Liberia. During this visit, it became apparent to Mrs. Hingson that countries such as Liberia lack adequate educational material in many if not all of their schools; and it was a result of this conversation that BBF’s Education Program was formed. One year later, in 1962, BBF’s first collection of 100,000 community-donated school texts was sent to Liberia.
Since that time, BBF has continued in Mrs. Hingson’s footsteps and has shipped over 96 million books all over the world. A large portion of these donations are made through partnership with US book publishing companies, Pearson Education and McGraw Hill Companies. By collaborating with international and domestic partner organizations, BBF is able to effectively distribute these books and educational materials to communities, schools, and students who truly need them.
Many of these donated books have gone to help fill libraries and schools in 112 countries all around the world. Since 2007, about 25% of BBF’s book donations have gone to Native American Tribal schools, Head Start Programs, University Outreach Programs in poverty stricken inner cities, and private and religiously funded schools here in the US.