Student Life

Concordia’s annual used book fair is set to be EPIC

Books for a cause

For those who prefer books with yellowed pages and broken spines, mark your calendars for Concordia’s annual Epic Used Book Fair, which takes place in the EV building atrium on Oct. 29 and 30. The sale is perfect for uncovering rare literary finds at accessible prices, and it supports Concordia’s student body and the wider community.

Event coordinator Luke Quin believes that selling secondhand books has the ability to enrich the lives of students by not only raising money towards scholarships, but also by repurposing ideas. “It’s entrepreneurial, but socially driven,” Quin said. “We’re raising money and providing a new home for books that would probably end up in the garbage.”

The event, hosted by Concordia Alumni, raised $25,000 last year, and Quin has even higher hopes for this year. “With support from Concordia and the community, the event has only gotten bigger.” The money raised is funneled into two or three direct scholarships, as well as an endowment that ensures there will always be a Used Book Fair scholarship available. Another portion of the money goes towards the Multi-faith and Spirituality Centre’s Student Emergency and Food fund, which gives grocery cards to students in need.

Encore books and records is a hole-in-the-wall store on Sherbrooke St. W. that sells books, both used and new, records and other collectibles. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

“We’re also giving experiential opportunities for the volunteers, a lot of which are international students looking to engage and network,” Quin said. “We’ve really built an event that is students helping students.” He said the great location in the EV building atrium gives the sale a lot of traffic potential from shoppers passing by on Saint-Catherine St., as well as students. The books are priced at $3 and up, and will be sorted by subject, so there is sure to be something for everyone.

Many of the donated books come from professors and students, past and present, but Quin said that more and more donations are coming from outside the university. “Many smaller charity organizations don’t accept books because they’re cumbersome and difficult to sort through,” he said.

Donations for the Epic Used Book Fair are accepted year-round. For those who have large donations, boxes of books labeled “Concordia Used Book Fair” can be dropped off at the receiving dock of the Hall building downtown, or at the receiving dock of the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex on the Loyola campus. If you have a few old textbooks or a smaller amount to donate, there is a pink book bin on the Hall building mezzanine at the bottom of the escalator.

For more information on the book fair, follow the Concordia Epic Used Book Fair on Facebook. The event already has over 7,000 RSVPs, so go early to get the best pick. The sale runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. both Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30. There is also a pre-sale on Sunday Oct. 28 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a $5 entrance fee. Stop by and see what you can find!

Feature image by Alex Hutchins.

Student Life

Clothing is more than a commodity

Improve lives and make a difference by donating to shelters

As the production of the garment industry has evolved over the decades, it has become a commonality to constantly rotate our closets as the seasons change. For that reason, more and more of our clothes accumulate in the “reject pile.” Although those items may seem meaningless, they are valuable in the eyes of many women who live in shelters.

Sally Richmond, the executive director of Logifem, one among dozens of women’s and children’s shelters in Montreal, explained that they are constantly looking for goods to give to their residents. Originally from the United Kingdom, Richmond completed her academic education in Montreal and earned her general master’s of business administration (MBA) from Concordia’s John Molson School of Business. Being consistently drawn to current social issues, she devoted her career to supporting those in need.

Logifem is a non-profit organization and housing program that accommodates women and girls facing difficulties and living under strenuous circumstances. Whether their situations are due to domestic abuse, struggles with mental health, immigration issues or any other material insecurity, Richmond said the main purpose of the shelter is “to empower women and girls to face the future with hope and dignity.”

Donated items are displayed in Logifem’s boutique, which is open exclusively to its residents. Richmond emphasized the importance of bringing in goods that are in decent condition. “When we get [clothes] in poor conditions, we have to ship them out to [second-hand] stores, but that ends up costing us money because we have to pay the shipping fees,” she explained. Donating is a gesture that is much more valuable and appreciated when it is in the best interest of others, and that can be achieved by carefully sorting the unwanted items beforehand.

Oftentimes, Logifem lacks various essential supplies. In the past, they’ve turned to Facebook to announce their need for specific products, such as unworn undergarments and unopened toiletries. Richmond recalls being pleasantly surprised with the feedback. “There was a much bigger response than we anticipated.” People from all across the country sent in packages of brand new underwear and other items listed in the Facebook post, and some packages were even sent anonymously. “The support was so organic,” she said.

Richmond mentioned that some donors who return regularly—typically annually or biannually—have begun to form a relationship with the members of the organization. “They become a part of our family,” she said.

Donating articles of clothing is not merely giving material objects to other people. Giving contributes to the well-being and stabilization of another life. “People need these things because they come with very few possessions,” Richmond explained. “But oftentimes they really just need a little boost—something for them to feel nice in.”

In our city, on many street corners and alleys, there are those who are less fortunate. The Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, West Island Women’s Shelter, Chez Doris, La rue des Femmes and Maison Grise de Montréal are all within reach of Montrealers and could benefit from a range of donations, not just clothes. Anyone can lend a helping hand, and volunteers are always appreciated and welcomed.

Graphic by Ana Bilokin

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