• Stephanie O’Hanley

Renaissance Île Perrot Bookstore-Donation Centre ‘a great success’

PHOTO COURTESY CÉCILE CARRASCO

Renaissance’s newly opened shop on Don Quichotte Blvd. in Île-Perrot offers a treasure trove of literature and music at reasonable prices in a cozy setting – and every purchase and donation benefits the community.

Open since May, Renaissance’s non-profit Bookstore-Donation Centre, located at 106 Don-Quichotte Blvd. is proving popular with residents.

“We were really adopted by the population of Île-Perrot,” said Cécile Carrasco, who works in Renaissance Goodwill Montréal’s marketing and public relations department. “We thank them for donating to Renaissance,” Carrasco said.

Renaissance is impressed with the reception it’s getting and the welcoming comments it’s received from residents. “The bookstore is a great success. We didn’t open too long ago but the initial reception from the area population was really great. They are quite happy to find a bookstore we can offer at Renaissance.”

The bookstore sells a mix of French and English books that come from donations received at the Île-Perrot donation centre, Carrasco said. “We give back to the community and we sell back to the community.”

Besides books, shoppers can find vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, VHS cassettes, regular tapes and sometimes small decorative items and jewellery at low prices and tax-free.

While Renaissance has 10 Fripe-Prix stores in the greater Montreal area, a specialized boutique and a liquidation centre, Île-Perrot boasts its sixth Bookstore-Donation Centre. “We developed new concept - a donation centre and also a bookstore,” Carrasco said.

Renaissance’s Île-Perrot’s Bookstore-Donation Centre employs five permanent staff. “They are employees who work for Renaissance, they are not in training,” she said. “We create jobs locally for the community; it’s not a training program.”

The Île-Perrot store isn’t the charity’s first off-island venture, Carrasco said, though it’s the first time Renaissance has appeared this far west. “We’re also in Laval, in the South Shore, in Blainville. We’ve established 34 (donation) collection points around the Montreal area. When I speak of collection points we have Fripe-Prixs, donation centres, bookstores and a specialized store,” she said.

Donations not sold in the bookstore are sorted, ticketed and go for sale at Renaissance’s Fripe-Prix stores, its specialized boutique and liquidation centre, places that in many cases help serve the organization’s social mission, which is to integrate people into the workforce.

Places where Renaissances hosts a 26-week paid training program, including its Fripe-Prix stores, head office, distribution centre and transport department, have big teams that give people “tools so they will be able to get back into the workforce” and each store has around 15-20 people who are in training, she said.

You don’t have to live in Île-Perrot to visit the Bookstore-Donation Centre, Carrasco stressed.

“It’s open to everybody. As for donations you can bring not only books but toys, clothes, accessories, everything you’re not using anymore at home you can give it to Renaissance and 100 percent of the donations serve the social mission. We are a non-profit organization...we are a charitable organization and it serves 100 percent of the social mission.”

There are some things Renaissance does not accept, however. “Big appliances like fridges, stoves and mattresses and all the upholstered furniture.”

For a list of acceptable donations, visit www.renaissancequebec.ca/ and look for ‘What to give’ in the ‘Give articles’ section.

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