Library’s ‘Bags of Books Project’

  • Oct. 22, 2014 5:09 p.m.

The Red Deer Public Library is teaming up to help children from the

Central Alberta Women’s Shelter with the ‘Bags of Books Project.’

During a mother-daughter weekend seven years ago, Red Deer resident Maureen Miller and her daughter Olivia, then five years old, decided during a ‘girls’ weekend’ to reach out to the community.

They both share a love of reading and a Calgary-based project called ‘Bags of Books’, which provides gently used and new books to Calgary residents in need, caught their attention.

The idea prompted them to start the program here in Red Deer providing new books to women and children at the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES).

Since then, the program has provided books in cloth bags donated by Red Deer Public Library for children and moms who have left their homes with little or nothing of their personal belongings.

“The wonderful thing about this project is that a simple experience of reading can transport a person, young or old, to another place where they can experience security and safety. A story can provide therapy, can be a companion and be hope for change and new beginnings when seen through the eyes of another character or place in time,” says Miller.

The first year of the program began with a few moms and their daughters donating books and time to sort the books into age groups and categories, said Miller.

“Careful and thoughtful decisions were made to ensure the content (both text and graphics) were appropriate. Young girls helping with the sorting and selection of books were guided by the mothers present.”

Some of these girls have been involved every year and have also assisted with the delivery of books to the shelter, she added.

“These girls get a feeling of self-worth knowing who the bags are for and knowing how much books can help the lives of those in need,” said Red Deer Public Library Children’s Services Coordinator Laural Grimes. “It really is a win, win for everyone!”

“With the program, children not only are given some things they can call their own, but the hopes are that books will open a whole new world for them, a world where fun things happen, where imagination can allow a child to focus on things other than their troubles, and lead children to a life-time of reading and learning,” said Grimes.

The program has evolved into such a large endeavor with so many hands and hearts contributing: neighbours, friends, relatives, local school libraries, book clubs and acquaintances from a distance who have heard and want to help in some way, Miller explained.

Last year, a total of 321 bags were filled by volunteers with 1,212 books for the project.

-Weber

Just Posted

FCC host forum featuring sportscaster Brian Williams

The forum is part hopes to educate, reenergerize, inspire and inform producers

Country star Brett Kissel releases new album

Kissel excited to make a stop in Red Deer

Westerner Park takes home international prize for Urban Farm Project

Organizer said she wanted to create an urban farm that would connect urban dwellers to agriculture

Glamorous Red Deer clothing on display

Red Deer MAG showcases stylish dresses worn through the City’s history

Santa launches holiday blood drive at Red Deer clinic

The Berry Family was on site to encourage others to give blood

CP Holiday Train steams into Lacombe

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train delighted residents of Lacombe on Dec. 6

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Higher winds could complicate California wildfire fight

The expected strength of the winds have reached uncharted territory

North Korea says war is inevitable

North Korea says war is inevitable as allies continue war games

UPDATE: Al Franken resigns from Senate amid allegations

Announcement coming from Sen. Franken amid fresh accusations

Australian Parliament allows same-sex marriages

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said 62 per cent of registered voters favoured reform.

YouTube Canada Reveals the top videos of 2017

From a sea lion that got a bit too frisky to a toddler stealing popcorn from Prince Harry - we watched it all

Canadians urged to exercise caution in Middle East ahead of protests

Protests are in reaction to Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Feds planning to push back delivery date for new fighter jets: sources

The Liberals had planned to buy 18 Super Hornets

Most Read