Sewickley book store raising funds to help Harvey, Irma-ravaged areas |

Sewickley book store raising funds to help Harvey, Irma-ravaged areas

Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Penguin Bookshop owner Susan Hans O'Connor and bookseller Meredith Millar stand for a photo inside the Beaver Street store Monday, April 24, 2017. Penguin is among independent book stores holding its ground against retailers such as Amazon.

Penguin Bookshop patrons are doing their part to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Since Sept. 1, people visiting the shop have been asked to donate a dollar for every book they take from the Advanced Reader Copy selection and from some new books with slight imperfections.

Proceeds will go to the Houston Food Bank.

Penguin Bookshop manager Mary Ferris said she hopes at least $500 will be raised.

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community,” said Ferris, adding several customers have come in just to put money in the box.

Patron Kim Gould of Hopewell, Beaver County, was happy to donate.

“I knew Penguin would have done the research necessary to chose a great recipient, and the free book was a nice perk,” she said.

Ferris said it is the first time the shop is collecting money for a disaster.

She said in the four years Susan Hans O’Connor has been owner, “nothing this powerful has made an impact on so many people.”

Penguin also has suggested donations to a program a Houston independent book shop has organized.

Blue Willow Bookshop in West Houston — a neighborhood hard hit by flooding after water was deliberately dumped from two nearby reservoirs — will provide books to shelters and affected libraries with its Hurricane Harvey Relief Gift Card Program. The book shop is less than a mile from the Buffalo Bayou, which overflowed its banks.

So far, the book store’s program has raised more than $12,500.

“The indie (independent) bookshop world is a close-knit group,” Blue Willow owner Valerie Koehler said. “We are overwhelmed by the support.”

Koehler expects fundraising to be redirected to Florida following Hurricane Irma.

To donate money to the Houston Food Bank, visit the Penguin Bookshop at 417 Beaver St., Sewickley.

To purchase a gift card for books at shelters and libraries, go to

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