Minneapolis

From books to free food, Stillwater family builds on Little Free Library legacy

2021-10-21 11:38:05 –

Tony Bol and his wife Eden Penn have been making wooden boxes for over two years for those who want to put them in the front yard to share books, food, seeds and more. Even poetry.

The idea may sound familiar. It was Tony’s brother Todd who created the Little Free Library movement by meeting a small library more than 10 years ago and planting it in the front yard of Hudson, Wisconsin.

Todd’s wife, Susan Bol, said that what had happened since then had undergone a series of unexpected turns, which were unpredictable.

“He never thought this would be a big deal,” she said.

It’s been three years since Todd died of pancreatic cancer. The idealistic and romantic Bol, who saw a small wooden box as a solution to a social illness, made the first box out of wood from an old garage door. He installed it in his front yard, and didn’t expect it to be much more than he intended: a tribute to his mother. Later, a neighbor held a garage sale in 2010, drawing people to the dead end streets of Bols.

“People were really looking at the library,” Susan laughed. Inspired by word-of-mouth advertising, Bol initially wanted to build 2,150 to outnumber the number of Carnegie libraries in the United States. The move long ago exceeded that mark.

Last year, a non-profit organization of a small library based in Hudson, Wisconsin, announced that it had donated the 100,000th library, a box sent to the Association for the Progress of Mexican-Americans in Houston.

Todd founded a non-profit organization, and Tony temporarily ran a non-profit organization after his brother’s death. He worked there for about five years, but in late 2018 Tony worked on his own to set up a box manufacturing company called Share With Others based in Bols. ‘Hometown of Stillwater.

The 2019 dispute with a small library organization means that Bol can’t use these three words (the little library), but Bol says the water is almost calm and he and the original little library non-profit. The work of both for-profit organizations to create a shared world of vestibules.

Bol and Penn hired a few builders, including an Amish carpenter, to create a box to share with others, and then they added the finishing touches to 233 Second St in downtown Stillwater. ..so Etsy.com, Prices range from $ 190 to $ 540.

The pandemic fueled the idea of ​​sharing the vestibule, Penn said. The company expects growth to be “exponential” with approximately 2,500 boxes sold since its inception. “For people, it’s about showing experience, kindness, and compassion,” Penn said.

Today, much more has started with books, and food pantry is becoming more popular during pandemics.

By 2021, approximately 42 million people in the United States, including 13 million children, could experience food insecurity, according to an organization at Feeding America. This is one in six children in the United States.

New pantry will appear one after another. Greater St. Paul’s non-profit Interfaith Action will buy 5 Share With Others boxes, use them as free pantry, and install them in the coming weeks. The Group’s Indian Labor Department operates food shelves that serve 900 families and approximately 2,500 individuals annually.

“We are not in the ideal place. We are at the summit and snelling. Our family lives mainly in the eastern metro,” said Kelly Miller, director of the Indian Labor Department. I did. Future office relocations to Little Canada won’t make that easy, but during a recent brainstorming session, the group’s emergency services coordinator Teresa Halberson-Lee said the boxes were on their shelves time. I was wondering if it would help extend the location.

I looked up the city permit and found that it didn’t require any additional paperwork as long as it was on private land.

Five Share With Others boxes, packed with canned food, rice, pasta, and other basic stuff, will soon be set up in an area close to the organization’s community members. For now, Halvorson-Lee will replenish them weekly.

“We just want people to drop in at this pantry box in the event of an urgent need. We don’t think this will eliminate our services and food shelves,” Miller said.

It was a kind of development that would have made Todd Bol deeply proud, said his wife, Susan.

“He will be pleased that this is moving forward and engaging more people and these other needs,” she said.

Matt McKinney • 612-673-7329

From books to free food, Stillwater family builds on Little Free Library legacy Source link From books to free food, Stillwater family builds on Little Free Library legacy

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