A giving community | PostIndependent.com

A giving community

Emily Hisel
Garfield County Libraries
Volunteer Fred Williams
Courtesy Kimberly Loving |

How do you know you are part of a community? I’m not just talking about the boundaries of a town or a county, but instead the essence of a group of people who come together to become more than just individuals.

Anthony J. D’Angelo said, “Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”

I can attest to the caring that resides here in Garfield County.

For the past eight years, the Garfield County Libraries have held an annual “Food for Fines” campaign. It has coincided with Library Lovers’ Month each February, and encouraged people to bring in nonperishable food to donate in exchange for library fine forgiveness.

Over the years we have witnessed many forms of giving; from a small child carrying in a can of corn and using all his might to hoist it onto the counter, to adults bringing in boxes full of assorted items. People have even brought in food to pay off strangers’ fines, or simply to donate without request for reciprocity.

During the first year of the program we collected 990 items. This year we were just two items shy of 4,500 cans of food.

So what do we do with all this food? It’s donated to local LIFT-UP pantries. In the eight years of the program, 28,656 items have gone to families around the county in need.

“Hungry is an ongoing problem for many, and we are very grateful for all of the help that the libraries have provided over the past several years,” said Kimberly Loving, executive director of LIFT-UP. “It is with the communities help that LIFT-UP is able to serve so many individuals and families that need a hand up.”

On behalf of everyone at the Garfield County Libraries, I would like to thank all who donated food this year. Every item of food helps. It makes healthier children, happier adults and a better community.

Lindsay Fox said, “If you believe you can make a difference, then you will make a difference. Believe in yourself, your family, and your community, and you will win.”

I believe we are building a great community in Garfield County, which is a win for us all.

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