Donated Books Feed Kids

While on a trip to Chile, entrepreneurial-minded Nathan Cole was brainstorming ideas that would help fuel his passion to feed more kids around the world. He found the inspiration he was looking for after talking with a friend who sold books online to provide his monthly income. Cole started a venture of his own and named it Kai Books.

Cole, the Operations Director for Chi Alpha campus ministry, developed a 1-for-1 model that feeds a child in the feedONE program in exchange for every college textbook donated. He knew almost every college student needed a place to offload old books, but he also knew many of them were looking for good causes they could rally behind. It seemed like a natural fit. 

“It is so tangible and an easy first step to get involved with feeding kids,” Cole says. “They may not have cash, but they do have textbooks.” 

After beta testing the idea in his own neighborhood by walking neighbor to neighbor collecting boxes of books with his wife and kids, Cole tried the idea on one campus last spring. At Missouri State University, students put up posters, strategically placed collection boxes, and partnered with several campus organizations during finals week. Last fall, 10 more campuses jumped onboard. Cole is looking to double that number this spring semester.

“It’s so easy to do. Imagine if we could get 100 campuses.” 

In true startup fashion, Cole has converted part of his garage into a makeshift warehouse, packing station, and headquarters for Kai Books. When he is not collecting, prepping, and organizing thousands of pounds of books, he is brainstorming for other ways to help. 

“I didn’t know anything about the book business, and now it’s actually happening,” he says. “This is just one idea of hundreds out there that can be used … what are the other great ideas?”  

Thanks to his creativity and passion, children around the world will receive the hope and support that they desperately need. If you have old textbooks or would like to get started on your local campus, get involved today by going to

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