As I was reading through my blogs recently, I came across this article about a program to recycle shoes and earn money for your library (or other non-profit organization). According to the article, "participating organizations return the boxes to Shoebox Recycling and receive 50 cents a pound or about $20 for a 40-pound box." Reading about this program reminded me of my recent visit to Raina Roloff and the North Freedom Public Library.
A little background about North Freedom Public Library from their 2013 Annual Report:
- Municipal population = 688, service population = 1,241
- Registered card users = 499
- Library visits = 10,013
- Collection size = 15,252
- Circulation = 18,547
- Square footage of library = 1,196
- Program number and attendance = 97 and 1,341
For a tiny library, those are huge numbers!
When I think of Raina and her library, I think of stealth fundraising. The library has a wildly successful Amazon Wish List (they have a very benevolent donor). The library holds an annual book & bake sale which raised $1,141 this past June and brings with it a $1,000 matching grant. In addition, plans are in the works for a silent auction this fall. Okay, the book & bake sale and silent auction aren't very stealthy.
Here's the stealthy part. When you walk into her library, there is candy and pop for sale. Patrons can purchase Kwik Trip gas cards at the library and 10% of the proceeds benefit the library. Together, the pop, candy, and Kwik Trip cards raise about $2,000 a year. The local elementary school held a fundraiser for the library and raised $1,280. A relatively new festival in town has designated a portion of their proceeds for the library. And, that doesn't count what their benevolent donor purchases for the library from their Wish List. That's over $3,200 in funds & materials for the library without a lot of extra work from Raina or her staff.
Maybe next time I visit the North Freedom Public Library there will be a box to recycle my shoes and support the library at the same time.