Twice Upon A Time - free books for Ottawa kids

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

Business Number: 803095777RR0001

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge 2018

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is back this June! During the month, donate to any registered Canadian charity through Canada Helps, and your donation will automatically enter the charity to win $10,000 from Canada Helps. The larger your donation you give, the more chances the charity has to win! We hope Twice Upon A TimeFree Books for Ottawa Kids will be your charity of choice for this exciting fundraising campaign.

Here’s how it works: from from June 1-30, every $1 you donate to Twice Upon a Time through Canada Helps qualifies us to win $10,000.  So if you donate $20 to Twice Upon A Time, we would have 20 chances to win $10,000. Just imagine how many Ottawa children could benefit from this additional funding: it’s enough to buy 800 books that reflect the experiences and backgrounds of our clients: French materials, books by and about Canada’s Indigenous peoples and Canada as a country of diversion and inclusion.  It would also help produce three years’ worth of promotional material to share with the community, or pay our storage for six months.


Twice Upon a Time: free books for Ottawa's kids, is a volunteer run organization that provides free books for children from birth to twelve years old. Our mission is to support early literacy skills and foster a love of reading through book ownership by making books available in the home. Children who visit any of 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. 

On November 28, 2017, Twice Upon a Time launched its 2017-2018 Development Appeal Campaign. 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 have also distributed children’s books to families through the Vanier Children’s Services, the Children’s Aid Society and Habitat for Humanity.

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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