My brother Todd Bol founded the Little Free Library Movement on the premise that neighbors want to help neighbors. His concept of front-yard sharing took off with the exchange of books, followed by the idea of Little Free Pantries for sharing food and other essentials.
My family operates two little book libraries, one at our home and the other at the Share With Others studio. These libraries are in different towns 10 miles apart, yet the neighbors in each town started bringing little life essentials such as canned goods, snacks and toiletries to sit alongside the free books.
The trend of modifying little libraries to serve as Little Free Pantries is erupting organically across America: Neighbors are taking up the idea because they know that kindness can’t be quarantined. We’ve dedicated a shelf in each of our little libraries for sharing essentials — but we want to do more.
Share With Others is the Bol family organization that’s dedicated to innovation and support for little libraries. We’re forming the Foundation for Front Yard Sharing in Todd’s name, and in his memory we’re supporting the modification of little libraries into pantries.
We’ve created an oval, cling-on decal that you can place on the plexiglass of any little library. It communicates the sharing of essentials with the words “Little Free Pantry” across the top, and also shares a message of hope: “Kindness Beyond Virus.” In the same way little libraries and pantries inspire neighbors to share, we believe the decal will inspire passersby with evidence of the hope and kindness that are alive in their neighborhood.
In memory of Todd, ShareWithOthers.net is making 1,000 decals and distributing them for free to anyone who’d like one for their neighborhood library/pantry. My brother was known for giving library gifts to communities everywhere, and we want to continue his vision. The Foundation for Front Yard Sharing also will be giving away four little libraries to communities across America after the pandemic subsides. Recipients will be chosen from neighborhoods with amazing stories of kindness as part of their Little Free Pantry experience.