2013-14 Meetings & Special Events
The 2013 book sale was terrific! We had a very successful event and would like to especially thank the committee and volunteers. Of course, it is all made possible by the support and generosity of the community -- donations and purchases exceeded expectations this year! Many thanks to all involved!!
AAUW–ALLENTOWN ANNUAL BOOK SALE — October 2014
Check back in June 2014 for dates, times & location
Proceeds from this annual used book sale are used to fund scholarships awarded to women returning to school after a 6-month hiatus or longer.
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The following article appeared in The Morning Call August 17, 2006 (local section B)
AAUW book sale is a win-win-win-win situation
by Margie Peterson
One of the great things about books is that unlike, say, shirts, each is just as good (or bad) for the 10th person who uses it as for the first.
The engaging characters and bitingly funny insights into academia in Richard Russo’s “Straight Man” are as spot-on with a few spaghetti stains on the pages as they are brand spanking new. This is, of course, why public libraries are popular but you don’t see a lot of shirt-lending institutions.
So for readers who aren’t Rockefellers, there can be few better places to be Oct. 7-11 than at the mammoth used books sale run by the Allentown chapter of the nonprofit American Association of University Women. The fundraiser, held at the Troxell building at 2219 N. Cedar Crest Blvd, offers as many as 56,000 books for sale, organizers told me.
To get an idea of how big that is, the Emmaus Public Library’s shelves currently hold about 90,000 books, videos, CDs and periodicals. (The library also has its own terrific book sale at the end of April at the Lower Macungie Middle School).
Last year, the Allentown AAUW raised $32,000, which went to scholarships, largely for women attending area colleges.
The AAUW – which has bins for book donations at South Mall and the YMCA & YWCA of Allentown – started accepting books at Troxell on Aug 1 during the heat wave. When I stopped by that day, the old un-air-conditioned school was a pizza oven. Tow of the sale organizers, Mary Crusius and Annette Bonstedt, were working away, but Crusius gave me a tour.
I pointed out to Crusius, a retired educator, that she could be keeping cool in a pool somewhere rather than getting paid zilch to sit in a former girls locker room separating mysteries from biographies.
At the time and in a later interview, she explained what keeps her and other volunteers coming back year after year to run the annual sale, which began in 1959. The scholarships go to women who have had their educations interrupted, she said. Some are striving to earn degrees after a divorce or an abusive relationship. “Most of them are the sole support of two or three children”, Crusius said. “They are so appreciative of what we give them”.
We have seen a need, and that’s what keeps us going”, she said.
And going and going. Volunteer Pat Walkup said she brought her 2-year old son the first year she started volunteering at the sale. He’s now 25.
The day before I stopped by, teens from KidsPeace spent the morning carrying and setting up tables for the volunteers. KidsPeace kids have been helping with setting up and taking down after the sale for three years, and Crusius and Walkup said they are always polite and hugely helpful. As a reward for their labor, the teens can choose books for free from the leftovers.
Meta Cadugan, a KidsPeace teacher at the Washington School who accompanies them, said the teens who have helped in the past, ask to go back. “They feel good about themselves, being able to help other people”, she said. “At the end, they will actually thank [the women] for letting them come.”
After offering leftover books to the KidsPeace kids, the group sells the remainders to a Maryland book buyer. Any books too dilapidated for they buyer are recycled.
These women say that, in addition to the scholarships, they are driven by their love of reading and their desire to encourage it. “You can go anywhere you want to with books,” Walkup said.
Students get scholarships, teens get the satisfaction of helping others, thousands of people get to go anywhere they want to with books, and nothing is wasted. It’s hard to imagine a better fundraiser.