The BIG Book Drive to Collect Books in Lansdowne Mall on February 26
Three Simon Fraser University students – Joseph Choi, Alex Venetis and Steffi Chua – have organized a book drive named “The BIG Book Drive” to collect books for the Salvation Army. Started by SFU Beedie School of Business project management students, the team aims to collect 2,000 books over the next five weeks with two separate book drives happening in both Richmond and Burnaby. The first book drive will take place on Saturday, February 26th inside Lansdowne Mall in Richmond, BC, while the second book drive will take place on March 19-20th at Salvation Army’s Divisional Headquarters in Burnaby, BC. All books collected will be donated to the Salvation Army and will benefit the organization’s family support services and their other literacy-related programs.
“We are collecting books on Saturday, February 26th from Richmond residents in Lansdowne Mall,” says Joseph Choi, one of the BIG Book Drive coordinators. “This is a chance for the Richmond community to donate their unused books and aid us in helping the Salvation Army.” The BIG Book Drive will have a booth at Lansdowne Mall in front of Toys R Us from 9:30am – 4:00pm on February 26th, next to the Richmond Scouts’ Kub Kar Rally event.
Choi, a Richmond resident, emphasizes that the BIG Book Drive welcomes all sorts of books from children’s books and magazines to textbooks (with the exception of adult-oriented materials and newspapers).
“We want to donate books to an organization that already has programs in-place to increase literacy amongst low-income families and children, so we chose the Salvation Army,” says Alex Venetis. “People have lots of books lying around at home that can be redirected towards these communities.”
Salvation Army will distribute the books collected during The BIG Book Drive to its family support services and Christmas services program. Books that cannot be redirected towards these programs will be recycled into new resources.
What started out as a small class project has now evolved into a well-organized community book drive. The BIG Book Drive is being sponsored by Black Bond Books, Richmond Scouts, Literacy BC and Lansdowne Shopping Centre. These organizations have been more than generous in donating their services and resources towards making this event happen.
According to Literacy BC, 40% of adults in British Columbia do not have the literacy skills needed to fully participate and succeed in today’s world. This presents over one million people who are under-equipped to cope with society’s increasing informational demands. Having low literacy rates increases poverty and crime which hinders economic productivity; it indirectly affects our personal health and well-being overall.
“We are privileged to be able to attend a university like SFU,” says Steffi Chua. “There are many children, teenagers, and young adults who don’t have access to books that can improve their literacy skills. The books we have lying around at home can make a difference in someone’s life.”
February 26: The BIG Book Drive booth will be located in front of Toys R Us inside Lansdowne Mall located on No. 3 Road at Alderbridge Way in Richmond, BC from 9:30am to 4:00pm.
March 19-20: The second BIG Book Drive will take place at Salvation Army’s Divisional Headquarters located at 3833 Henning Dr. in Burnaby, BC from 10:00am to 6:00pm on both days.