Ryan Burley, youth services librarian for the Hilliard Library, usually reads to kids and plays children's music for local residents. But recently he took his talents much farther south of Hilliard.

Ryan Burley, youth services librarian for the Hilliard Library, usually reads to kids and plays children's music for local residents. But recently he took his talents much farther south of Hilliard.

Burley spent March 12-24 on a trip to Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in South America. He spent his time there not only helping to construct a new orphanage, but also helping children in other orphanages, as well.

Burley said he got involved through an organization he volunteers for called Global Gallery, which according to its Web site, is a "non-profit volunteer run organization dedicated to promoting fair trade and cultural enrichment in the Columbus community."

Burley said Global Gallery became involved in sponsoring the building of an orphanage through the company purchasing Bolivian products, such as scarves.

"We moved hundreds of rocks and helped build the floor of the orphanage," Burley said. Not only that, but, with the nine other people he was with, Burley went to visit other orphanages.

He said they were able to help families in need.

"We were able to give out shoes and toothbrushes and some other supplies that people had donated, "he said. "That was a really moving experience."

"I also got to play some children's music for kids down there… that's something I do at my job here," he said. "So, that kind of tied it together for me."

Burley said it was an eye-opening experience for him.

"It was just really interesting and exciting, just seeing this whole new culture that I had never really experienced before," he said.

Burley hopes he can go back next year, and that more people can go with him.

"This year, it was eight or nine people," he said. "Next year, we're hoping to get it up to 15. It's all kind of a funding issue."

The public can help send Burley back to help more Bolivian orphans next year by going to the different Global Gallery locations in the city and donating. Global Gallery has four locations: 682 North High Street in the Short North; 148 Easton Town Center, on the first floor of Easton Mall; 230 Xenia Ave in Yellow Springs; and in German Village at 190 East Whittier St.

People can also donate online at boliviaorphanage.blogspot.com.

"It's a continuing project," he said.

calexis@thisweeknews.com