Before the pandemic, volunteers at Apple Self Storage sorting books in February 2019. SUPPLIED

This summer, Women’s Place of South Niagara will be holding “Mystery Box” book sales to provide books to Niagara residents. This event will be running every Sunday from July 11 to August 29 (excluding August 1), from 10 AM to 4 PM.

A list of box categories to choose from, such as mystery, romance, history and more, will be available on the Women’s Place website as they are announced by 6 PM the Thursday prior to the sale each week. One or more boxes from specific categories can be requested, as quantities last, with a ten-box limit per sale.

According to a Women’s Place media statement, their organization is looking forward to sharing the books donated and hope that book lovers will be excited about the opportunity to discover new authors and content when they receive their mystery boxes.

Some of the hundreds of books in storage. MEGAN METLER

“The Mystery Box Book Sale is a way for the community to enjoy low-cost reading material, while raising crucial funding to support women and children affected by domestic abuse,” Amanda Braet, Director of Development and Stewardship told the Voice. “Proceeds from this initiative will help keep women and children in our community safe, and provide them with resources to help rebuild their lives free from abuse.”

Small boxes are being sold for a minimum of a $10 donation and large boxes for a minimum $20 donation. All donations must be in cash only and order availability is based on a first-come, first-served basis. The Mystery Box Book Sale is happening through curbside pickup at Apple Self Storage in Niagara Falls, located at 4655 Kent Avenue.

The collection of books was donated by community donors and sorted by Women’s Place Book Riot Committee members, volunteers and employees who are organizing the event. Currently, book donations are suspended, but once more space becomes available as the sale progresses, donations are expected to open up again. In addition to purchasing the mystery boxes and donating books, volunteer opportunities for the sale are also available.

“The community has been kind and generous during this challenging time and we are incredibly thankful for the continued support we receive. We are very much looking forward to returning to an in person sale in 2022!” said Braet.

The fundraiser, which typically occurs in June at the Gale Centre, has been cancelled for the past two years, due to restricted gathering sizes and pandemic protocols.

Women’s Place has been relying on this significant event for some 40 years, which raises $70,000 annually for the organization.

According to the media release, despite the Mystery Box event likely not earning the same amount as the usual Book Riot fundraiser, the revenue from the sale is greatly needed for the Women’s Place to continue making an impact on the lives of those experiencing domestic violence in the community.

“Not being able to host this event due to the restrictions in place from the pandemic has created a big financial loss for our agency, during a time that our services are needed more than ever,” Braet said.

To support those impacted by domestic violence throughout South Niagara, visit womensplacesn.org/ to learn more about the Women’s Place organization, and womensplacesn.org/womens-place-book-riot/ for more information on the Summer Mystery Box Book Sale.