Karma for Cara Microgrants help fund exceptional projects led by youth 18 and under to help complete service projects in their communities. Read about our microgrant recipient, Liz who volunteers with Operation Ballard Books. Operation Ballard Books creates mini libraries in their community to increase accessibility to books.
1.How did you become involved with Operation Ballard Books?
I work for Youth and Shelter Services as the Teen Club facilitator for the Ballard Impact Teen Club. This is an afterschool program where the kids meet four times a week and work on a variety of different projects and activities including service learning, physical fitness, practicing positive actions, and self-discovery. This is all facilitated by positive adult role models, which can be very transformative for youth. Operation Ballard Books was a program created by the students for their service learning project to make sure that there is easy access to books in all of the communities in their school district through the use of Little Free Libraries. I have helped guide the participants from day one, but a majority of the work was done by the middle school kids.
2. Why is your work important to you?
This work was very important to the students because of their own passions for reading. They said that during the summer they read so many books and are not always able to get to a library to pick out new ones. The participants school district is made up of four small towns (Huxley, Slater, Cambridge and Kelley) that join together for schools. Unfortunately, there is not a library in all of the towns. We chose Kelley and Cambridge because they are the smallest of the four towns and do not have their own public libraries. Our hope is that this project will give more kids more access to reading, so that even during the summer, they are still learning and growing. This will help create a well-rounded community of future leaders.
3. How did the money from the microgrant help with your project?
The grant allowed us to buy the supplies, paint, and landscaping for our libraries so that they looked nice and in inviting to the communities. Because of their help, we were also able to buy some new books to fill up the libraries for the summer and a small cake to celebrate with the kids all of their accomplishments.
4. What message of giving back do you have for others?
Giving back is so important! Giving of oneself in the service of others is an experience that allows us to grow as people, and connect more closely with one another. If everyone took even one hour of their week to help out another person it would transform our lives and communities. I am very proud of all the students, and all they have learned through this process.