Received a kind note from Bernie Crawshaw recently. Bernie operates Fernlea Ivix Books, a not-for-profit used bookstore in a former motel on Highway 3 just outside Delhi, Ontario.
The motel-store has the warm and comforting smell of the thousands of used books neatly sorted, sectioned and shelved for customer convenience. Profits from book sales are tucked away in an old cash box and used to aid education in the Third World. These days the profits, roughly $30,000 a year, are being directed to getting windows and doors for school rebuilds in Fort Liberte, Haiti.
Bernie started Fernlea Ivix 25 years ago after retiring as a teacher-librarian. He is supported by 20 volunteer workers and hundreds of folks who donate their books to help the cause.
I brought Bernie an SUV full of my treasured books, culled with great pain during a move to a smaller place.
Many places that take used books want to sort through them. Other places take them all, then haul the ones they don't want to the garbage dump. Bringing them to Bernie involved a long drive, but the trip was worth worth it, knowing that my books would help some disadvantaged children.
Moving is a traumatic experience that among other things highlights the fact that our world just has too much stuff. Many of us nowadays have two fridges and no room in the garage to park the car. Getting rid of stuff takes time, much patience and even some money.
Thankfully, there are people like Bernie Crawshaw who volunteer their time to take some of our overwhelming stuff and turn it into something good for people who don't have as much.