Red Cross book sale hits six fig­ure sum

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

‘‘A huge suc­cess!’’

That’s the ver­dict from Sonja de Lange, Red Cross Hu­man­i­tar­ian Ser­vices man­ager fol­low­ing the an­nual three day book binge in the Bar­ber Hall last month.

That’s de­spite a con­tro­versy that blew up on so­cial me­dia site Neigh­bourly over un­sold books be­ing torn up, and ‘‘greedy’’ pric­ing.

Books in the hall sold for $3 each.

‘‘If the books had been more rea­son­ably priced, maybe the turnover would have been faster and there would have been fewer un­sold books to de­stroy in­stead of the two halls full!’’ was one of the com­ments posted.

In re­sponse, Sonja says Red Cross runs the book sale as ef­fi­ciently as it can sup­ported by vol­un­teers and the gen­er­ous do­na­tions from the com­mu­nity.

‘‘We work hard to find good homes for the books not sold at the sale – some go to our book shop, some are do­nated to other char­i­ties, a prison and lo­cal schools.’’

Stor­ing the re­main­der of the books she says is ex­pen­sive.

‘‘So after much con­sul­ta­tion we de­cided that most cost ef­fec­tive, en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and kind way of ex­tend­ing the lives of the sur­plus books was to re­cy­cle them into pa­per. Many of the books which are re­cy­cled are out­dated – text books, man­u­als and such, or are dam­aged.’’

The aim she says is for as much money as pos­si­ble to go to­wards the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s char­i­ta­ble work. This year the sale, held for the first time in two venues – the Bar­ber Hall and Read Books, on Main St, raised around $100,000.

‘‘We are re­ally proud of our book sale and our ef­forts to be en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly,’’ Sonja says. ‘‘Not only do we col­lect books through­out the year, we also col­lect used plas­tic bags to be used as shop­ping bags dur­ing the sale.’’

Vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor, Massey stu­dent Aziz Man­sour, says he en­joyed be­ing part of the book sale.

‘‘It’s good to help your com­mu­nity out. You’ve got to do some­thing in your week­end – why not help?’’

Sale co-or­di­na­tor Jill Spicer says vol­un­teers like Aziz also spend hours in the lead-up to the sale col­lect­ing and or­gan­is­ing the books.

‘‘It takes a vil­lage to run a book sale and all those who help us know they are help­ing the world’s needy.’’

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Red Cross vol­un­teer book­sell­ers and mem­bers of the pub­lic for­age for book bar­gains dur­ing the three-day an­nual Red Cross Book Sale.

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