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2,000 more books head north for the holidays

Thursday December 20, 2012
Submitted Photo
Emily and Julia Mogus of No Books No Bounds stands with Regional Chief Stand Beardy and National Chief Shawn Atleo.

The teenage duo of Emily and Julia Mogus of Oakville, Ont. have sent over 2,000 books to 24 communities in northern Ontario just in time for the holidays.

The sisters said they received donations of new books from First Book Canada while Harper Collins donated five boxes of new books that will be sent in February. They added that a company, approved by the Ontario regional chief’s office, offered to pay the FedEx shipping fees to send the books north.

“In 24 hours, with the help of our brother Jack, we packaged 2008 books in 55 boxes and we did it non-stop (except to eat, sleep six hours and buy tape... Jack and Emma bought tape on their bikes with a flat tire because our parents weren’t home),” the sisters said in an e-mail on Dec. 12.

“Right now, we have another 2,000 books that are new or like new ready to be packaged and recorded so we can ship again in February.”

The Mogus sisters’ recent shipment is part of their initiative, Books With No Bounds, where they have been collecting books to ship to children in remote fly-in communities in NAN territory. They began the initiative after hearing about the poor literacy rates in First Nations communities.

The shipment brings the book count to 10,000 that they have sent up north.

The sisters added that a group in Thunder Bay has organized its own book drive, in which it sent 1,000 books to Eabametoong.

“We sent them a note so they can send us the bill if the school doesn’t have the money to pay for the shipping,” they wrote, noting that they recently received $500 dollars from an award that they will put towards shipping costs.

The Mogus sisters also sent a shipment of items to a woman’s shelter in Fort Albany, in which they included colouring books and some brand new baby items.

Emma and Julia are continuing to learn about First Nations issues after attending chiefs meetings in Toronto.

“We received letters from First Nation kids who still don’t have schools and have to go to school in portables so we told (the chiefs) what the kids have written to us,” they said.
On Dec. 11, they attended the Ontario Lt. Governors’ Holiday Party for Free the Children.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” they wrote. “ We proudly wore our (moosehide) gloves given to us by the Chiefs of Ontario.”

They said they have been invited back to Free The Children and hope they will be able to use the forum to help “our friends in NAN.”

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