“You need something to bring purpose to your life, to bring you joy. I have been overjoyed with my Library since its beginning! We didn’t have the money to buy a Library, and my husband and I aren’t the kind of people who can put two boards together. We were so blessed that Little Free Library donated one to us! Sometimes, if you just reach out and ask for help, you’ll be amazed by what people will do.” – Little Free Library Steward Carol Rich
Carol Rich doesn’t really remember her parents reading books when she was a kid; they just didn’t sit down to read. But Carol always adored reading. She would stay up late at night with a flashlight in bed, until she couldn’t keep her eyes open (or until she got caught by her parents).
When she retired and moved to the small community of Webster Groves, Missouri, she visited a few Little Free Libraries. She liked the idea, and wanted to start her own…especially because there was one other big factor in her life which was keeping her at home most of the time.
Carol shared, “I’m retired, and I’m going through treatment for cancer. You can get kind of pigeon-holed. I’m always very candid about my cancer, and I’ll answer questions when people ask…but you get so consumed with going to doctors appointments and treatments…you know, sometimes I feel like I would just like to have a day when I don’t have to talk about cancer, to anybody!”
Carol had always been the type of person who tried to pay it forward in little ways. A Little Free Library felt like the perfect project that she could take on, even if she was stuck at home most of the time.
There was just one problem. She couldn’t afford to buy a pre-built Library, and she knew she didn’t have the skills to build one, either.
So, she contacted Little Free Library and asked for help.
Carol said, “When I found out that Little Free Library was going to donate a Library to me, I was overwhelmed! It was just so kind, which is unusual, sometimes, for people to reach out and help you like that. When it arrived in the mail, I sat down on the floor, and I was literally in tears of happiness.
“The Library gives me a purpose, a sense of doing something…good! It’s exciting. I can’t wait to get up in the morning and go out, make sure the Library is clean, that there are enough books inside, and that there are dog treats available. I guess, to me it’s like a runner’s high. You go out, you run, you have those endorphins, and you feel real good.”
Since putting the Library on her front porch, one of her favorite moments was when she was pulling in the driveway and caught a glimpse of a young mother and her kids with a little red wagon, walking away with a few books to take home.
“Sometimes it can be really hard to reach out and ask for help, and I’m hard-headed about those kinds of things. But if you ask for help, you’ll be amazed by what people will do. And I hope that I can pay it forward.”
Learn more about how Little Free Library donates Libraries to individuals and communities where they can make a meaningful impact through our Impact Fund.