Paying It Forward

by Sharon Gee

One of the reasons I want my daughters to continue with the Girl Scouts (BTW it is cookie time) is that the Girl Scouts encourage people to contribute to the improvement of society, otherwise known as Community Service. As I grow older, I see the importance of giving back is not only to the recipient but to the giver as well. If you have looked at PBA’s Meet the Staff webpage, you will have seen that my family raises puppies for Guide Dogs of America in hopes they will become Seeing Eye dogs. The first dog we raised, Rosa, made it through the rigorous program, graduated, and is now partnered with a visually impaired woman. There is no greater feeling than knowing that we’ve positively changed a person’s life.


There are numerous ways to make positive impacts on society. My Girl Scout troop has fed the homeless, made blankets and ornaments for sick children, volunteered at Operation Gratitude, created Valentines and other cards for the Veterans, and volunteered at a rescue mission among other things. We hope that some of those we’ve touched will be able to pay this small kindness forward.


In that spirit, when PBA was approached by members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) to help raise money for the American Booksellers’ Benevolent Fund (ABBF), we immediately said yes. Here was an opportunity for us to help in our community as we count many booksellers amongst our friends and clients. The ABBF was established in 1952 as the “Charles Grand Memorial Fund” by the ABAA. It is a non-profit charitable fund used to benefit any antiquarian bookseller in time of personal need. Although the fund is administered by three Trustees and chaired by the immediate Past President of the ABAA, the Benevolent Fund is separate from the ABAA and most of the disbursements have gone to non-ABAA members.


The fund was named for Charles Grand, one of the earliest ABAA members, who was an antiquarian bookseller in the first half of the 20th century. The ABBF honors his ever-ready aid and generosity to those in need. He shared what he had, even though at times he did not have very much. Mr. Grand’s friends started the fund in the early 1950s shortly after his death and it continues today helping booksellers in times of distress.


To help the fund today, ABAA members were asked to donate items (books, maps, ephemera, prints, photographs, manuscripts). PBA is privileged to be offering these items as part of our Sale 526 to be held on Sunday, February 9th, 2014 at 8:00 am at the Pasadena Sheraton, which is next door to the Pasadena Convention Center and the 47th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. Proceeds from this part of the auction will go directly to the ABBF and the important charitable work it does. The catalogue for this sale is posted on our website and absentee bids may be placed. Also, each lot details page mentions the donor of the material and the author of the listing, which they have so graciously allowed us to use in our catalogues. One can support the fund by purchasing one or more of the items for sale or by making a tax-deductible contribution directly to the fund.


Helping others while you are doing something you enjoy is incredibly personally rewarding. PBA is honored that we can contribute in this small way to help the ABBF and, in a way, all booksellers.