Members of Boy Scout Troop 256 from Our Lady of Charity Parish in South Buffalo recently held a clothing drive and donated the collected items to Dog Ears Bookstore & Café at 688 Abbott Road. In turn, the bookstore then donated the clothing to Friend of Night People, a local organization that provides food and necessities to address the effects and impact of poverty in Buffalo. While visiting Dog Ears, the local Scouts also wrote Christmas cards for distribution to residents of local nursing homes during the holiday season.

Camp Kindness, in collaboration with Maksym’s Giving Tree Foundation, is coming to Dog Ears Bookstore & Café on six upcoming Saturdays from Feb. 2 to March 9. The nonprofit community bookstore is located at 688 Abbott Road in South Buffalo. Camp hours will be approximately 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Designed for children ages 7 to 12, camp activities may include the following: Sewing a patchwork kindness T-shirt quilt, making blankets that will be donated to area homeless shelters, meeting with guests from Journey’s End Refugee Services, creating friendship bracelets and cards with local Girl Scouts, reading to therapy dogs from Paws for Love, and baking bread with Chet Fery of Bread Time Stories and More. 

“Camp Kindness is designed to show kids that kindness does indeed exist in the world today,” said Thomas McDonnell, executive director of Dog Ears Bookstore. “It’s a much-needed program and we look forward to spreading kindness in our neighborhood bookstore and out into our community.”

On the last day of this free camp, all children will receive a hard cover copy of The Giving Tree book. Snacks will also be provided during all camp sessions.

To register for Camp Kindness, please visit Dog Ears Bookstore & Café in person or call 823-2665. Registration is limited.

A new six-week Puppy Tales series at Dog Ears Bookstore & Café, located at 688 Abbott Road in South Buffalo, will kick off at 10:15 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4.

Open to children ages 2 to 4 accompanied by a parent or guardian, Puppy Tales runs on six consecutive Friday mornings and each session includes three stories, a craft and healthy snacks. Sessions are skill- and book-based and the cost is just $25 per child for the entire series.

Puppy Tales is a great way to prepare students for Pre-K. To register for the first Puppy Tales series of the new year, please visit the bookstore or call 823-2665. And for more information on the nonprofit community bookstore, please visit or follow on Facebook for frequent updates.

Dog Ears Bookstore & Literary Arts Center is offering a free after school program for students in grades three through seven from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the bookstore, located at 688 Abbott Road, Buffalo. The program is sponsored by Erie County Youth Services.

Each day will target a different set of skills. Services provided include:
• ELA homework assistance
• Reading comprehension passages
• Vocabulary enrichment
• Test-taking strategies
• Organizational skill building
• Study skills
• Peer tutoring with Bishop Timon – St. Jude High School and Mount Mercy Academy students

From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., the focus will be on homework help and skill building, while ELA games, fun, group work and clubs will continue from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The program starts on Tuesday, Oct. 16 and will be facilitated by New York State-certified teachers. For more information or to register, please call 823-2665.

The nonprofit Dog Ears Bookstore & Café in South Buffalo was a popular destination this summer for students intent on improving their reading and writing skills through various camps and activities.

The mini library

“We have a lot of people to thank starting with our summer camp sponsors, South District Council Member Chris Scanlon and the Erie County Department of Youth Services,” said Thomas McDonnell, executive director of the community bookstore located at 688 Abbott Road. “We would also like to thank Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for his ongoing support of our bookstore and literacy programs.


Visiting Brick Oven Bistro

“Additionally, we would like to thank our guest speakers and local businesses that made our camp days much more interesting, including retired Buffalo Police Officer Dan Redmond who spoke to our campers about school safety procedures, author Tim Shannon who spoke about the writing process, and Chet and Marina Fery of Bread Time Stories who spoke on the importance of kindness. Businesses that invited us in to see their operations included KupKates, Queen City Cycling, Park Edge Sweet Shoppe, Abbott Ice Cream and Brick Oven Bistro & Deli.


At Queen City Cycling


“Our teen campers were also thrilled to build a mini library that will be housed in the Garden of St. Patrick on the grounds of nearby Mercy Hospital,” McDonnell continued. “This project was made possible thanks to Jeanne Mullen of The Gap and The Gap Foundation, as well as Mercy Hospital and the Mercy Hospital Foundation.”


With author Tim Shannon

Now that the summer activities are over, McDonnell hopes to give the bookstore a fresh look by purchasing new furniture for the second-floor Literary Arts Center, and he’s turning to the community for help completing this project.

“We are currently accepting donations to help us purchase new furniture for the second floor of our facility where most of our literacy programs take place, from our camps to writing workshops and poetry nights,” McDonnell added. “The furniture that we are currently using is showing its age and is in need of an upgrade. We are hoping the community — businesses, organizations and individuals alike — will help us achieve our goal by making a donation of any size to help offset the expense of the project.”

To make a donation to the furniture fund, please contact McDonnell at 823-2665 or

Erie County continues to be a huge supporter of programming at Dog Ears Bookstore.

We would like to thank Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Erie County for their ongoing support of the arts in WNY, including programs offered here at Dog Ears Bookstore. Please know that your support is greatly appreciated!