Today, I put up posters for the 5th Annual Apocalypse Kow Kristmas Kabaret (that's December 15th at 6:30, folks, don't forget that tickets are only $11 or $10 with a Food Bank donation) on Whyte Avenue between 100th and 109th Street. We're getting them up a whole week and a half early! And since it was minus ten degrees, I stopped in to my old store to warm up and ask them to put up a poster. Things have changed around in there since I left, and since it's less than three weeks until Christmas, there were quite a lot of shoppers for a Wednesday afternoon. When I was there, I remembered the program they roll out every year. The Love Of Reading program goes on year round, and (in my experience, at least) is rather poorly advertised. The basic idea is that you donate money to the program and Chapters/Indigo will help develop libraries at selected schools in need. Sounds nice, right?
But every December, they step it up a little: The Gift Of Reading. Go into any Chapters, Indigo, or Coles and you'll see Christmas trees decorated with little paper circles. Each circle represents a child from an underpriveleged school; they give the age, what they like to read, and how much they like to read. You go and pick out a book, hand it to the cashier with the tag, and they put it behind the counter; at the end of the month, each kid will get their book for the holidays. Voila! Easy charity. If you're highly stressed or pressed for time, the Whyte Avenue store has made a basket where some books rest, pre-shopped and waiting to be taken home. I picked up Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl for a Grade Four girl who likes poetry, and David's Father for a Grade Three girl who loves Robert Munsch. I felt bad about getting books for these guys and not some of the boys I'd browsed through and put back, who liked sports books and joke books, but I didn't know much about them and thought I might screw them up. Besides, I have a soft spot for Roald Dahl, and David's Father is my favourite Munsch book, and I wanted to try to give someone good memories like I had. But there are still kids there who need books. If you love reading, love kids, or love charity - and especially if you know about sports! - go in and do yourself some good, people.