This is the kind of story that makes my heart sing. The kind that makes you proud to be a Winnipegger.
Two residents of one of our city’s poorest areas have taken the idea of a community or little free library to a much needed next level. A community library, if you haven’t see one, are those little bird-house-like cupboards you see on some people’s lawns where you may borrow or leave books for the community to share. Well in Winnipeg’s Centennial neighbourhood – nestled between the Exchange District and the North End, people weren’t “looking for War and Peace“. Centennial, the area from Maryland to Princess between William and Logan is not only one of the more impoverished areas of the city, but was found to be one the the poorest in the country in a 2014 report by Global News. The median family income there, at the time was less than $30,000 a year.
The real need in that neighbourhood, one in which many of our city’s missions and shelters can be found, are everyday essentials like non-perishable foods and basic toiletries. Kelly and Andrea live attached to an old church, which area residents sometimes mistake for a mission. So they gathered up some items and placed them in a unlocked pantry on their property and asked their friends on Facebook to do the same. See the full post below.
Inspired by other community activists like the Bannock Lady Althea Guiboche, Kelly and Andrea are happy to pay their good fortune forward in their own front yard. The sign on the cupboard reads ‘take what you need, and if you have extra, leave it’. There’s juice, fruit cups, canned tuna and veggies, Kraft Dinner, cat food, toilet paper, paper towels and tampons.
Their story has been shared over 900 times on Facebook and has over 1000 likes.
Donations are always welcome but keep in mind that many people in the area live in rooming houses and don’t have kitchens so think of foods that are easy to prepare. You might want to swing by on Wednesday and drop something off for Conscious Kindness Day. Just a thought.
Kelly and Andrea plan to turn the former church into an event space one day.