Dave Obee: Literacy fund drive reaches $62,480

Yes, we know there is an election going on, along with other distractions. But literacy matters, now and into the future, so we are still doing what we can to raise money to boost it on Vancouver Island.

So far this year, we have collected $62,480 for the Times Colonist Literacy Society, which raises money for school libraries and literacy organizations.

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We had a big boost when the Golf for Kids organization gave us a cheque for $15,000, the same amount they donated last year.

Why did they come through again? As Golf for Kids organizers Dale Douglas and Murray Stewart put it:

“Once again in the middle of an unpredictable world we think it is critical to step up and support the fundraising efforts of important organizations like the Times Colonist Literacy Society, who actually help make a difference in the lives of people in our community.”

It should be noted that Golf for Kids is also making a difference in our community.

Their contribution is definitely appreciated.

Russell Books, which bought all the books donated at our mini drive in August, has given us $30,000 for them. That is also the same amount as last year. Next year, if all goes well and the pandemic eases, we will be able to resume our annual public book sales.

This month, Heirloom Linens in the Broadmead shopping centre is designating half the profits from the sale of one line of towels to our literacy fund.

Every day, we are getting more donations from our readers. It is heartwarming to know that even without the regular book sale, your commitment to literacy work is still strong.

Since we called for public donations, we have received $17,480 from our readers, in amounts ranging from $50 to $2,000. We also get regular monthly donations through the Canada Helps portal.

Some donors have come back with a second gift. One donor sent a bonus with his cheque: An old Victoria Press ruler from our old, old location, at 2631 Douglas. We left that building in 1972.

Every donation counts. We are still well short of our goal of $100,000 this year.

Your donations get an added boost through a contribution from the provincial government, via Decoda Literacy Solutions on behalf of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The more we raise, the more we get from Decoda, and the more we can put to work in the community.

Since 1998, thanks to our book sales, other fundraising efforts and Decoda, we distributed more than $5 million to schools and literacy groups.

You can donate online at canadahelps.org/en/dn/36542, or by mailing a cheque to the Times Colonist Literacy Society, 201-655 Tyee Rd., Victoria, B.C. V9A 6X5.

Thanks again for your support!

dobee@timescolonist.com

Dave Obee is editor and publisher of the Times Colonist.

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