Lucilla Girotto has always been a bit of a bookworm.
So when she heard about the Campbell River Community Foundation offering small grants of up to $500 to people in the community who want to create some connection in this COVID-19 world, she immediately thought about how she could involve books and share that love with others.
Her idea was to create care packages filled with books and other treats that people could receive to brighten their days and warm them up this winter as they spend more time at home than other years. She could buy the books from the Museum at Campbell River – who always have a stash of them hidden away for their annual book sale – and help that organization’s funding situation at the same time.
“These kind of boxes are becoming pretty popular,” Girotto says, pointing to the various subscription services that are available these days. From meals in a box where you just have to cook the ingredients that show up at your door to surprise packages filled with various things relating to one of their interests.
“So I thought, why not do the same thing with books?” she says. “And then I thought I would add some little treats like chocolates and teas, because who doesn’t like treats?”
Then she found out that the Museum at Campbell River likely won’t be having their annual used book sale in March.
“That made me very sad,” Girotto says. “A lot of people rely on that book sale to get their books. They always have a long line-up of people, so obviously people still love reading and second-hand books are affordable. It’s also a way for me to help the museum, because they use that book sale to help them do their programs.”
Anyone interested in receiving a book box can email Girotto at firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest. She will respond with a few questions to help tailor your box to your liking.
“I’ll just be asking for their preference for the book genre, mainly, and if they want some for any kids, because I want to make sure I pick books that they will like,” she says. “Then I will prepare the boxes and get back in touch with them to figure out how to get them to pick it up.”
She initially had bigger plans for the project – such as delivering them to people herself – but she narrowed the scope of it as various COVID restrictions came into effect.
“I had to pick something that I could pretty much do by myself, or with one other person in my bubble,” she says. “We haven’t figured out yet if they will pick up the boxes here at my place, which is fine, or maybe the museum could have somewhere set up as a pickup location. But that will all get worked out.”
She hopes to do 40 boxes before Christmas, but it will depend on the community’s response to the idea.
“I hope people like it,” she says. “I like the idea that this can be something little I can do that can maybe cheer them up a little bit, so I hope people sign up. We all need a little bit of cheering up right now.”