IN just one day, over $ 700 has already been raised by the community to help cover the electricity bills for the Lions Community Bookstore in Queanbeyan for the next 12 months.
As its third anniversary approaches this year, the store is run entirely by volunteers who sell donated books and has raised over $ 100,000 for charities since opening.
But keeping the lights on costs around $ 3,000 a year and unable to find a sponsor, they appealed to the community for help, a call that was quickly answered.
âIt’s very encouraging,â said Max Carrick, vice president of the Queanbeyan Lions Club, which set up the online fundraiser with Secretary Karen Abbott.
âIn just 24 hours, we reached a quarter of our goal of $ 3,000.
âWith these donations it means that all the money from book sales can go back to the community, we won’t have to deduct electricity.
âPeople have been so generous. “
The idea for the bookstore was started by longtime Deputy Mayor Peter Bray, a figure who tirelessly served the community and sadly passed away last year.
“Peter ran a monthly book fair selling books for one and two dollars and I think he could see for himself that the end was drawing near, so he contacted the Lions club to see if we were going to get his 5,000 pounds back.” , said Max.
âHe was active in the bookstore pretty much until his death.
âWe have a great legacy for him. “
The store is located on Monaro Street, right next to the Queanbeyan Leagues Club, which provides the premises to the Lions for free.
Charities he has raised funds for include Home in Queanbeyan, St Benedict Community Center, Karabar Housing Co-op, Louisa Domestic Violence Service and Barnardos.
The dedicated team of volunteers has also been nominated as a finalist for the NSW Volunteer Team of the Year awards, an honor they will find out if they won early next month.
And while the bookstore is closed for the time being due to the lockdown, Max says it will be open again as soon as she can.
âWhen the lockdown took place last year, I was trying to figure out who was most keen on reopening; volunteers who want to volunteer their time or the public who want to donate and buy books, âhe said.
âI think it’s pretty much the same this year.
Donations can be made here.
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Ian Meikle, editor