Red Cross book sale hits six figure sum
‘‘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 Many of the books which are recycled are outdated – text books, manuals and such, or are damaged.’’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.’’
Red Cross volunteer booksellers and members of the public forage for book bargains during the three-day annual Red Cross Book Sale.