In a time when “every single penny matters” for nonprofit organizations, Lynn Hope Industries and the Holmes County Training Center have put plenty of pennies into the Holmes County District Public Library’s bookmobile fund coffer.
The two Holmes County nonprofits united because of a familiar tie. The Holmes County Bookmobile has made Lynn Hope Industries a monthly stop for some time, and the monthly stop has become an event that many of the clients of both Lynn Hope and the HCTC look forward to greatly.
So when the opportunity to raise some funds to dedicate to the library’s effort to purchase a new bookmobile came about, it seemed to be a perfect fit.
The fundraiser became a T-shirt sale featuring a Holmes County Bucks logo designed by Josh Thomas. A letter campaign provided a big boost for sales while Lynn Hope also sold the T-shirts at the Bucks’ basketball game with the Holmes County All-Stars.
At the beginning of March, Lindsay Yoder approached her sister-in-law Dorothy Yoder, and the two talked about celebrating National Developmental Disabilities Month by promoting an awareness service project.
“We wanted to create something that would empower those with developmental disabilities to do something for their community,” Dorothy Yoder said. “We sent letters out and received a great amount of support from the community.”
Dorothy Yoder said the bookmobile has become a highlight event for many of the clients at the HCTC and at Lynn Hope Industries, and supporting such an integral part of the county was something they really wanted to do.
“I think a lot of us knew the bookmobile came here, but we never realized until this took place what kind of an impact they have here and how much they cater to the needs of our clients,” Dorothy Yoder said.
The T-shirt sales brought in close to $700, adding to the ongoing effort of the library to raise the funds necessary to purchase a new bookmobile.
The current Bluebird bookmobile that the library plans to retire is 25 years old and has experienced a lot of wear and tear as it continues to break down. Marty Lavigne, Holmes County District Public Library manager of outreach services, said the aging bookmobile should have been replaced a couple of years ago, but the library wanted to use it as long as possible.
“It’s experienced plenty of wear and tear,” Lavigne said of the Bluebird.
According to Lavigne, the new bookmobile will cost $250,000, and the library has currently raised more than $140,000. She said both of the current bookmobiles have donation boxes in them, and a number of area schools are in the midst of a change campaign, which she said shows how much the bookmobile and its services means to the families throughout the area.
“It’s a real moral boost to us to see that kind of support,” Lavigne said. “We still have adults talking about their experiences with the bookmobile back when they were kids.”
When the effort to replace the Bluebird began just less than one year ago, Lavigne said there was some sentiment attached to replacing what has been an old friend. But since then issues both major and minor have continued to crop up, and she said it is now long past due to make a change.
“We’re at the point now when we are praying it gets us through the summer,” she said.
Lavigne said that when they first began making the stop at Lynn Hope a decade ago, they weren’t sure how much the clients would utilize the facility. They quickly found there was a great deal of participation. Many of the clients began requesting items, and the library was more than happy to acquiesce to those requests.
“This has become one of our favorite stops, and I think everyone really looks forward to it because this stop truly is an intersection of community and school,” Lavigne said. “Plus we get an incredible amount of support from the staff here [at Lynn Hope].”
And Lavigne said seeing the community step up through this fundraiser and put an effort into supporting the library and the bookmobile’s services was touching and inspiring.
“We love doing the service we provide, and it’s nice to get the feedback and see that people value what we do,” Lavigne said. “We were amazed at the amount they raised. Usually when things like this take place, you think you’ll get $100, so this is a wonderful outpouring of support.”
If anyone would like to donate to the Holmes County District Public Library's bookmobile fund, they can do so in person at the bookmobile or at either of the public libraries. They also can log on to the library website at www.holmeslibrary.org
and click on the bookmobile fundraiser icon.
Lavigne said people can call 330-675-5972 as well, and the library will send out tax donation forms.