The Habitat Bookworms
(This was published in the Alachua Habitat for Humanity Newsletter)
|Harold Baranoff and Carol Doherty|
For Harold Baranoff and Carol Dougherty, the only limitation to their work is "time and space." Both are members of the Habitat Bookworms, the employees of Alachua Habitat for Humanity which manage the book department in the Thrift Store.
"It is not only our responsibility to sell the books," said Baranoff, a seasoned Bookworm, "but to create an atmosphere where members of the community can come together."
Baranoff has been a Bookworm and full-time employee with the bookstore for more than two years and has helped evolve the department from a large table with books scattered on it, to organized shelves accounting for over 600 square feet of the store. Dougherty has been a part-time employee with the shop since July of 2013 after volunteering for over a year.
In addition, they have created an online sales program, selling textbooks and more valuable books online, in order to make the most profit from their donations. The Bookworms often receive donations of rare books, including a first edition poetry book whose publication dated back to the 1800s.
The Bookworm slogan "Building homes and community one book at a time," clearly holds true when witnessing first-hand the work that Harold and Carol do.
Each month, in-store and online book sales account for roughly $4,500 in revenue. These profits go directly into the Habitat operation building program which provides local Alachua County families in need with access to affordable housing.
"I believe in giving the gift of reading, especially to children," said Dougherty.
Originally a large number of donated books came from the closing of two stores in Gainesville, Books Inc. and Wayward Council. In addition to book donations Wayward Council also donated a large number of records which Baranoff and Dougherty used to start a music department in the Thrift Store.
"Wayward Council had an established books for prisoners program," said Baranoff, "and with their donation of books came hundreds of letters from prisoners asking for books." The Thrift Store continued this program and receives daily letters from prisoners asking for books.The cost of postage for this program is supported through community donations specifically for this program.
To find out more information about the Habitat Bookworms check out their Facebook page: