Thanks to a kind gesture from a stranger, a beloved community bookbox that mysteriously disappeared from the lawn of a Montreal home in the Kirkland area has since been replaced.
A new brightly colored house-shaped new outdoor library now sits on Bruce Street, overflowing with books.
“In less than 24 hours it was full of books,” said Kelsey Galt, Kirkland resident and owner of the library.
Beloved Community Bookbox Torn from Kirkland Lawn
The ‘take a book, give a book’ initiative began as a pandemic project for Galt and her son.
Galt said she felt isolated and was looking to make a better connection with her West Island community through reading.
In September, that connection was cut when the hand-painted colored steel filing cabinet was taken. Galt suspects it was stolen.
“I was really a little disheartened when it was stolen, but if you’re looking for it, there are kind and wonderful people everywhere,” said Galt.
“Certainly more wonderful people than not.”
One of those people is Alberta carpenter Jennifer Stuckey.
Stuckey says she came across a Global News story about the stolen library and said she had to take action.
“I found it, read it, and decided to send a new library because people are horrible when they do things like that,” Stuckey said.
Stuckey says she’s made over 2,500 hand-crafted wooden pieces and isn’t afraid to help another Canadian, saying that’s what a good Canadian would do.
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When Galt and Stuckey first spoke, Galt says she was overcome with emotion and surprise.
“My little intention to connect with my community really snowballed into something bigger that reached the other side of the country,” said Galt.
Stuckey says the phone call involved a lot of screaming and a few crying and a lot of happy screaming.
“I gave her a second to calm down and told her to pick any bookbox on my website,” Stuckey said.
After traveling 3,000 kilometers to Kirkland, Galt gave the library his personal touch, painting it with colorful cartoons and word puzzles.
Galt also expects the new book box to remain around this time. It is driven into the ground with wooden spikes.
Galt says his safety game has also been improved.
A communications provider even gave him a free Ring doorbell monitoring system to keep tabs on things.
“I am overwhelmed by the number of people immediately willing to help and get it started and the number of people who appreciated it,” said Galt.
Although Stuckey has never set foot in La Belle Province, she says leaving her mark and bringing joy to a community is recognition enough.
“Even though I’m far from it, I really love seeing the result and I think it’s a lot of fun when people are excited about what I did in my workshop.
“It’s pretty neat.”
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