Thanks to a group on Facebook, you’ll begin to see Little Free Libraries popping up in the community and surrounding area.

The seed for Kindness Project 15009 was planted in February 2020 when Dutch Ridge Elementary 3rd grade teacher Francine Hogan had her students decorate food bags for Ellwood City Meals on Wheels. When her friends learned about the project, they volunteered their children to help too.

A before picture of the machines for the library

“People genuinely want to help, but don’t always know where to start,” Francine said.

Shortly after, Francine decided to just put a message out on Facebook to see who else may be interested in doing small acts of kindness in the community – and she got a huge response. Now, “Kindness Project 15009” has over 400 members on Facebook that are working together to “make the lives of others better & to make the world a better place, one project at a time!”

Prior to the Little Free Libraries project, the group ran several other community service projects including a successful canned food drive for the YMCA, making Easter baskets for the Beaver County Women’s Shelter, and making Easter bags for the Center in Midland.

The group organized a book drive that collected hundreds of books thanks to the generosity of the community and several local businesses that volunteered to be drop sites for the books.

With the remaining books from the book drive, the group decided to create Little Free Libraries.

The orange Lion King will be placed at the Beaver Fire Station and was made by Shelly Boyd and her family to honor her daughter Giana who passed away.

The Beaver County Times donated out of service newspaper vending machines, and the group was able to find families to decorate them and register them with the non-profit organization Little Free Library. Each machine will be kept stocked with books.

Machines are set to be placed at College Square Elementary and by the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department. Machines will also soon be appearing in additional to be determined places in Brighton Township and Beaver Falls. The College Square Little Free Library has its own Facebook Group called “College Square Little Free Library.”

When deciding what projects they’ll do next, Francine said, “If you think it’s a great idea, have at it. Everyone is so willing to jump in and do things.”

If you’d like to learn more about the group and get involved, search for the “Kindness Project 15009” on Facebook.

“We welcome any service project ideas. It’s easy to pitch in and it’s family-oriented,” said Francine.

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