Calgary book drive to help sexually exploited women

RESET Society of Calgary’s Annual Used Book Sale Kicks Off May 11 at Crossroads Market

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A Calgary nonprofit collects as many books as possible in hopes of raising money to help women escape sexual exploitation and trafficking.

The RESET Society of Calgary is gearing up for its annual book drive and sale at Crossroads Market for the first time since 2019, after the COVID-19 pandemic put fundraising on hold for the past two years.

With nearly one million books to be sorted and sold by volunteers, the event is the largest of its kind in Western Canada and the organization hopes to raise $150,000 to support its services during the sale of five days.

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Among the thousands of boxes, shelves and stacks of books that will be sold, there is always something special for collectors to unearth, said Theresa Jenkins, executive director of RESET. Although she didn’t have time to leaf through all the old books piling up at Crossroads, she said a box of centuries-old books caught her eye.

“They are all from Britain and they are all first editions. They are all written in French; . . . some of them date back to the 1800s; it is a complete set of these books. I don’t know what the value would be, but it’s pretty unique,” ​​she said.

While the organization has been able to maintain operations throughout the pandemic thanks to government COVID relief funding, fundraising this year is more important than ever – especially with these funding streams drying up in large party and that COVID is impacting the portfolios of some donors. The book drive is RESET’s largest organizational fundraiser, providing approximately 12% of the group’s annual funding.

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“Twelve percent has a big impact on programming, if we didn’t have those funds,” Jenkins said.

And at a time when the waiting list for the organization’s services has never been longer, this funding has never been more needed.

“(These are) women who are not safe. . . They need a place to go now. It could be a matter of life and death if they don’t attend a safe program or place. The pandemic has really impacted everything,” she said.

The collection of books at Crossroads Market will remain open until May 8, with the sale scheduled for May 11-15.

For more information about RESET and the book drive, visit

[email protected]

Twitter: @michaelrdrguez

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