5 for Life book sale returns to supply community with accessible literature

After being unable to host the event last year due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns and safety protocols, 5 for Life brought back their annual community book sale on Jan. 28 – 29.

The event was hosted at the Hope Community Covenant Church and was estimated to have had over 1,000 books available for redistribution within the community.

Debbie Taylor, chair of 5 for Life, said the annual book sale is the organization’s one and only fundraiser over the course of the year, with all of the revenue going right back into supporting community programming.

“We used to be funded by the government and then that ceased, so we were just supplementing our grants with this fundraiser,” said Taylor.

“Through the grapevine, we heard there was quite a need for a used book sale, so that’s how it began. It (started) small and then it has morphed into a pretty big deal.”

All the books in the sale were donated by community members. According to Taylor, 5 for Life began collecting books in November via dropoff points at various business locations.

“We’re very, very grateful to the community for their support, for donating books and very grateful to … (local businesses that) had great big bins where they collected books for us.”

The books collected at the end of 2021 supplemented the collection from last year which amounted to the larger than normal accumulation.

Though ideally, the goal was to empty the tables and shelves back to community member who would make good use of the books, Taylor said there was no specific fundraising goal over the course of the weekend.

“We’re just happy if, ideally, we could sell it all, but there’s not a target. Rounded up there’s probably about 1,100 books here.”

Prices were set at $1 a book for adults and $0.50 for kids, with a selection of shelved items being marked as free to claim.

For teachers who dropped by on the last day of the sale, 5 for Life encouraged them to fill a bag with books to take for free.

“We’re trying to get the books back out into the community and not have to store them,” said Taylor.

She estimated several hundred people visited the book sale over the course of its duration.


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