By Little Free Library, Special for USDR
Little Free Library® placed its 50,000th book exchange at the Illumination Foundation homeless shelter in Santa Ana, California, a community with one library and no bookstores for over 335,000 residents.
Little Free Library started with a free book exchange along a trail in Wisconsin in 2009 and today, seven years later, the nonprofit organization has developed into an award-winning force for literacy and community-building.
“Little Free Library is more than cute boxes of books,” notes Founder Todd H. Bol. “Along with placing our 50,000th library, we’ve established a global network of stewards, built partnerships with publishers and literacy organizations, and developed programming that leverages the power of sharing books to bring communities together.”
The Little Free Library organization qualitatively estimates that 50,000 little libraries cumulatively amounts to 36,500,000 books being shared in a year and 600,000 neighbors meeting each other for the first time.
Little Free Library’s Impact Fund program made the book exchange at the Illumination Foundation possible. The Impact Fund is a donation program that places book exchanges where they can be a catalyst for motivating reading and deepening community connectedness.
Marytza Rubio, Founder of the Makara Center for the Arts, applied to the Impact Fund for a Library to be placed at the Illumination Foundation as the first step in a project to place Little Free Libraries throughout Santa Ana.
“Makara Center for the Arts seeks to increase access to arts and culture in our community, and libraries, including Little Free Libraries, are part of those efforts,” notes Ms. Rubio.
“We’re starting at the Illumination Foundation because in Orange County our homeless population is our most vulnerable and many are children,” says Ms. Rubio. “Shelter residents have little access to books and the Little Free Library can address that need.”
The Little Free Library Impact Fund is supported by individual donors and organizations. Retail sales and registration fees also help the Impact Fund. Individuals can donate to the Impact Fund or apply to receive a free book exchange at littlefreelibrary.org/impact-about/.
“We call it the Impact Fund because we want to substantially improve our world – and so does the Makara Center,” says Bol. “We’re thrilled that our 50,000th library will be at the Illumination Foundation and part of such a wonderful mission.”
SOURCE Little Free Library