Crate filled with donation books.

Donation Story: The Power of Books

November 29, 2019

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we thought it was the perfect occasion to share the news of a recent donation that is close to our hearts.


The Niagara Region, home to Book Outlet HQ, hosts a book distribution event twice a year, at which schools and non-profits are invited to “shop” for books at no cost.


Over the last couple of years, these book distribution events have grown substantially and have created a “book dependency” in the area we operate. At the same time, the number of books that the Niagara Region (a local government organization) has been able to source for these events has diminished. In the search of a solution to this problem, the Niagara Region reached out to us to see if we could help with a donation!


After hearing their stories and passion for literacy, we felt inclined to find a way to support such a great cause. As a result, Book Outlet donated over 200,000 books to the Niagara Region! Those books were used during their latest book distribution event held earlier this month and will be used for future events as well. We were amazed by the stories that people shared about how they used the books they received. Members that attend the distribution event range from school teachers and librarians to public health nurses and employment service providers. Over the course of three days, over 250 individuals drop by the event and pick up books. These are a few examples of how the distribution events have made an impact in the community in the past:


Examples of how donation-based distribution events have made an impact in the community in the past

Family & Children’s Services

Caseworkers take the donated books with them on home visits. Since they often discover there is very little, or at times nothing, for the child to play with, they can now leave a book behind for each child.


Public Health Nurses

Nurses visit new parents and babies in their homes and leave a book behind to encourage reading and connecting with the baby.


Holy Trinity Food & Hygiene Bank

Last December, they put out a selection of books and wrapping paper and encouraged visitors to select a book for their family members and wrap it up. One grandfather broke down in tears, thankful that he now had gifts to give his grandchildren.


Adult Literacy and Credit Programs

They use their books for reading projects and allow clients to take home books as gifts for their families.


Public Health’s Mobile Dental Clinic

They give a book to children coming in for a dental appointment so they can read while they wait and then take it home.


“Book Outlet books made it possible for full classes and even full schools to receive at least one book per child this Christmas. Without these books, there wouldn’t have been enough for this kind of reach.”


Crate filled with donation books.

Crate filled with donation books.

Hamilton Public Library & Hamilton Based Rotary Clubs

Picked up enough books to provide one book per child at three inner-city Hamilton schools.


Hamilton Elementary School

A Hamilton elementary school teacher returned from a 3-day class trip and went to the book distribution during their extended hours. She works for an inner-city school that tries to provide books for their students whenever possible (i.e. Meet the teacher night, parent/teacher interviews, activity nights, etc.). She mentioned that she has experienced many instances where parents cry because their child was able to walk away with a free book hugged to their chest.


Welland Elementary School

Most of the staff from the school attended the distribution and picked up books for their classrooms. Our donation allowed them to select the same book for all the students in their class.


We are so happy to be able to support such an amazing cause. The impact that books make in peoples’ lives is truly astonishing. As we head into the season of giving, we encourage you to consider donating some of your books that you’ve already read to your local library or charity. For you, it may be an old story but to someone else, it is a new adventure!


Happy Holidays,

Sydney from Book Outlet



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