Focus: Hyperlocal Support

When possible, my interest are in supporting hyperlocal activities through shopping at small businesses in my area, which is a proven way to sustainably grow a community’s local economy. However, it is obvious that simple commerce is not enough to improve one’s local area, and that some of the best charitable work helps your direct neighbors.

As such, two major initiatives I feel strongly about are the Little Free Libraries and Little Free Pantries initiatives.

Little Free Libraries

A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community; Little Libraries have been called “mini-town squares.”

Little Free Libraries are great areas to grab material for kids and adults, and while I also support our public libraries, I believe it is important to rally around community-led efforts in our hyperlocal neighborhoods as well. They serve important purposes around community action and offer reading material when the libraries are closed or otherwise inaccessible – transportation is not always a given!

I purchase books/magazines and tech equipment (USB Flash Drives most recently) in bulk from suppliers like Books4Schools on a quarterly cycle and deliver them to the libraries in the area that need replenishment.

Little Free Pantries

Little Free Pantry is a grassroots, crowdsourced solution to immediate and local need. Whether a need for food or a need to give, Little Free Pantry facilitates feeding neighbors, nourishing neighborhoods.

The Columbia Park Little Free Pantry supplements the Rainier Valley Food Bank in much the same was as the Little Free Libraries supplement the local public libraries. While it’s important to support both (and I certainly support the RVFB), giving hyperlocally to an emergency pantry that is accessible all hours of the day serves a different need – one that is just as important as the RVFB’s mission.

I purchase non-perishable items from local grocery stores – often employee-owned WinCo Foods – and drop them off at the Columbia Park location every few weeks.

Amazon Smile Beneficiary

Northwest Harvest: Washington’s own statewide hunger relief agency. Our mission is leading the fight for hungry people statewide to have access to nutritious food while respecting their dignity and promoting good health. Our vision is ending hunger in Washington.

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