Twice Upon A Time - Free Books for Ottawa Kids

Registered Name: Twice Upon A Time/Il Etait Deux Fois

Business Number: 803095777RR0001

Great Canadian Giving Challenge June 1-30, 2020


Get even more charitable this June. During COVID-19, help us give more gifts of reading to Ottawa's most vulnerable children. Every dollar you donate through our Canada Helps donation page in the month of June provides us with a tantalizing chance to win $20,000.

Like many of our colleagues during COVID-19, we have suspended activity at most of our nine regular locations. But there is good news! Twice Upon a Time has teamed up with four community health centres, two literacy organizations and a community association, all able to provide new and nearly new books directly to more than 200 families. And we can assure you that extensive and appropriate health safety protocols and procedures are being consistently employed by each group and Twice Upon a Time.

To make a donation in the month of June go to: 



Our Mission:

We give books to children! We give new and nearly new books to children from birth to twelve years of age, to support literacy and foster a love of reading at home. 

Our Vision:

We create welcoming spaces and opportunities for children to have books of their own, for free, in order to improve their literacy skills, nurture their imaginations and bring a love of reading to their homes. 

The Twice Upon a Time 2020 annual Development Campaign is Kids Today! The most popular new children's books. (fund # 1) 

We are capping off the 2019 annual Development Campaign Joie de livre! French Books for Ottawa's Kids (fund # 2). In 2019 we were able to purchase $ 4,000 of new French books and invested an additional $ 600 for our Indigenous Materials Project (fund # 3) .  

Twice Upon a Time:  is a completely volunteer run organization. Children who visit our locations can choose a book for themselves to keep for free, each time they visit. Our books are received through donations and purchases, and are carefully sorted to ensure that the books we give to children are in new or near-new condition. Twice Upon a Time was founded in 2014 by a diverse group of volunteers who are passionate about early literacy and books. 

By making a financial donation to Twice Upon a Time , donors ensure that more books are inscribed by their new proud owners, and are read in the homes of some of the most vulnerable children in Ottawa. 

Twice Upon a Time volunteers visit the following community organizations on a regular basis. Children and parents served by these organizations can select free books to keep each time our volunteers visit.

We also have distributed children's books to families through the Vanier Children's Services , the  Children's Aid Society  and  Habitat for Humanity .

Twitter: Twice Upon a Time    |    FB: Twice Upon A Time    |

What People Are Saying

"At our Boys and Girls Club bookstore, an Indigenous girl, age 7, whose family is from the north, found a book with an inukshuk on the cover and declared "This book is about my country". "

— Laura May, Twice Upon A Time, Volunteer and Member

"Your program is simply amazing... thank you so much for what you are doing for our members.. we only wish we could see you at our other locations. Thank you so much from our staff and our communities. "

— Adam Joiner, Director of Programs Boys and Girls Clubs of Ottawa | Rep

"A regular reader, a girl aged 10, came across the book "I Am Not A Number" by Jenny Kay Dupuis. She picked it up and said "I read this book! It's so important." (based on true story of a First Nations girl sent to residential school). She then found 4 of her friends and read the story to them. "

— Laura May, Twice Upon A Time, Volunteer and Member

" Imagine growing up without books. That is the experience of thousands of children in Ottawa whose parents cannot afford to buy books. Without a reliable supply of books in the home, bedtime stories don’t happen. And kids who are not read to at home struggle in school. "

— Leslie Toope, Twice Upon a Time Volunteer

Find Out More About This Charity