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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Toronto Women's Bookstore in Crisis

CANADA/FEMINISM - The Toronto Women's Bookstore at 73 Harbord Street in Toronto is near financial collapse. 2009 was a very bad year for bookstores in general, but the hardest hit are independent vendors.

The TWB released the following statement to their regulars:

Dear TWB community,

The Toronto Women's Bookstore is in crisis and we need your help!

Independent businesses and bookstores have been closing their doors this year, and after 36 years it is possible that we will have to do the same if we are not able to raise enough money to survive. TWB is one of the only remaining non-profit feminist bookstores in North America, but despite all of the events, courses, workshops, community resources and additional services we offer, the fact that we are a store means that we do not receive any outside funding and rely entirely on sales and the support of our customers to stay in business.

Over the past few years, our sales have not been enough to sustain us and this is why we are coming to you, our community, for help. If every one of you donated $10 we would raise enough to keep going for 3 months, $20 each would keep us in business for 6 months, and $30 each would be enough for us to keep our doors open, hopefully for good. All donations will go directly towards covering the bookstore's costs, and are a part of a larger plan of action and structural change to make the business sustainable in the current economy.

In the past, when feminist bookstores were closing down all across North America, the support of the community is what kept TWB alive. You are the reason that we are still here today, and we believe that with your help we can once again work together to save this organization where so many of us as readers, writers, feminists, artists, and activists have found a home.

You can make donations over the phone, on our website www.womensbookstore.com (a paypal link will be available soon), or in person at the store. As a non-profit store we are not eligible for charitable status and cannot offer tax receipts, but we are hoping to be able to offer tax receipts for donations over $100 in collaboration with a non-profit charity who shares our mandate, and if that can be arranged we will have that information available on our website and in store as soon as possible.

You can also help by spreading the word to your friends and community, contacting us if you know of any funding we might be eligible for, promoting this fundraising drive in your paper or on your blog, website or radio show, organizing your own save the bookstore fundraisers or just passing the hat at your holiday parties, giving a TWB donation as a gift, and of course, coming in and bringing all your friends to the store for some holiday shopping!

Thank you all for your support,
The Toronto Women's Bookstore Board, Staff & Volunteers

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