Little Free Library (LFL) steward Sandy Freel has Meniere’s disease. Some days are harder than others to hear and walk.

Sandy Freel's Little Free Library and bench.

Sandy Freel’s Little Free Library and donated bench.

“The doctor says that in five years I will be blind,” said Sandy. She also recently lost her husband of 60 years.

She started an LFL in honor of her husband; they both loved to read (you can find Sandy’s Library on the world map, just search by Sandy’s name). While walking in her neighborhood one day, Sandy came across an old park bench that she thought would make a nice addition to her LFL.

When she asked the gentleman who owned the bench if it was for sale, he hesitated and told her that his wife who had passed away used to sit on the bench every morning, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.

Sandy understood immediately why he was reluctant to give it up, but told him that if he ever changed his mind she would love to put it next to her Library.

Without so much as a blink, he told her that he would bring it by that Sunday so that he could stop to sit when he walked his dog. They both had tears in their eyes. “Nice things do happen for no reason,” says Sandy, “now we both have a place to sit and think of our loved ones.”

Since her husband’s death, Sandy had become disengaged from the community. She wasn’t doing the charity work that she enjoyed and she kept to herself most of the time. After starting her Little Free Library, she felt like she had a purpose again.

“It’s a reason to get up and go forward,” she said, “My Library keeps me young and my spirit alive…I would advise anyone to jump in with both feet and get started.”

“I don’t worry over any of the books being returned,” said Sandy, “they are gifts in my eyes to folks that maybe need a lift that day.” Even the local trash man stops by and borrows from the LFL, leaving behind a candy bar to show his appreciation.

One of Sandy’s favorite visitors is 7-year-old Liam who lives down the street and in addition to frequently using her LFL, Liam helps Sandy with daily chores.

“Being an LFL steward has made such a big impact on my life, and has given me a whole new direction,” reported Sandy, “I’ve had [my Library] for two months and I’ve loved every day of it so far. I would advise anyone to jump in with both feet and get started.”

Read more steward stories here.

Learn more about starting your own Little Free Library here.

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