Iowa City book shop raises more than $500 to gift books to children in need

This year, one donor helped lift the project to new heights.
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 10:30 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Nialle Sylvan, owner of the Haunted Bookshop, acts as a Santa Claus each December. She gets to pick out books, toys, and games for many children in the Iowa City area.

“With the pandemic, we weren’t letting anybody into the building and we really missed the holiday cheer,” she told TV-9.

The shop’s project called “Surprise me Bags” started last year. People can give a certain amount of money through donation. That money goes towards books and other items in the store.

“We let people write in with a description, favorite color, favorite food, maybe a book that they have liked, and we pick things out for people who are nominated,” said Sylvan.

This year, one donor helped lift the project to new heights.

“A mysterious benefactor who must remain nameless at her request sent us $500 just to give away,” said Sylvan.

After that, more and more people found out about the anonymous cause and joined the efforts.

This year, they were able to raise even more than that and donate gifts to at least 20 children.

“The generosity of Iowans has amazed me all my life, but this outpouring of support for people who have had such a bad time is really extraordinary.”

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