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Local Kiwanis Clubs Aid Free Bookmobile After Vehicle Crisis
Written by admin, December 20th, 2019   

Kiwanis-Logo

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. And they’re doing great work here in Sonoma County, with local chapters that mobilize helping hands and raise money for youth-oriented projects. We are very proud to have relationships with several of these clubs, and happy to report that they responded with aid when learning about our recent vehicle issues.

Kiwanis Club of PETALUMA has been a consistent supporter of our services and came through once again with a generous donation. We can’t wait to put those funds to use and get back to visiting the children’s programs, schools and homeless family shelters throughout Petaluma. Read more about this club by clicking here.

GEYSERVILLE Kiwanis Club has also been behind us for several years and we are thrilled that their help gets the bookmobile out to youth in their region. It’s also a pleasure for us to boost their fundraising efforts with an appearance at their annual breakfast.

Kiwanis Club of CLOVERDALE is doing good things to support reading in the north end of the county with their annual One Day for Literacy. We plan to join this event at the plaza on April 18, 2020. This is a new relationship for us but the club came through in our hour of need!

WINDSOR Kiwanis is also a new bookmobile supporter. This is an active club and you can read more about their many events and sponsorships by clicking here.

Thank you, Kiwanis Members, for everything you do!


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Fundraising Campaign Success Leads to Building of New Bookmobile
Written by admin, December 1st, 2019   

Success

WE DID IT! You did it. Our supporters came to our aid when we needed it most, and we are so very grateful. Our crowdfunding campaign on Fundrazr brought in well over $33,000 and our FUNdraiser Dinner at the Jenner Inn netted another $2,100 toward our outreach services. The Free Bookmobile will ride again!

Thank you for your investment in literacy and love of reading. The vehicle conversion work is well underway, with electrical, lighting and some welding already completed. Bookshelves are being constructed by a local craftsman and those will soon go out for finishing. Once they are installed, we’ll finish up with carpeting and some enhancements to our patron entrance to make things nice and safe. We are hoping for a January launch.

Here’s a fun photo from the archives in celebration. Who remembers our FIRST bookmobile, the little white trailer we towed around behind our family Suburban? In those days we just pulled into parks, homeless shelters, and low-income senior housing…

As many books as you can carry!


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Speedway Children’s Charities Revs Up Bookmobile Grant for 2020
Written by admin, November 25th, 2019   

Speedway Children's Charities

We love our friends out at the racetrack! The local chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities hosts fundraising events throughout the year at famed Sonoma Raceway, then distributes the proceeds to youth-supporting non-profits. It’s a wonderful model of philanthropy that has generated almost $7 million for the benefit of Sonoma County kids since 2001.

The events themselves are totally unique, starting with the hillside setting of one of America’s most challenging circuits and the fabulous raceway staff that plays host. The calendar for the 2020 season includes the Tour de Charity Karting Day, Speedway Children’s Charities NASCAR Banquet, Eric Medlen Nitro Night dinner, Red Bucket Brigade and Sonoma Show and Shine. To get in on the fun, call 707-933-3950 or view the full list by clicking here: https://www.speedwaycharities.org/events/#sonoma.

We also want to acknowledge the large role the Classic Sports Racing Group (CSRG) plays in helping raise these important funds. In October they will hold their Charity Challenge Vintage Car Races which features Track Rides for Charity. Last year they had everything from Can-Am cars to a Ferrari 250 GTO available for rides, offering a near-race-speed lap for participants.

A huge thank you to SCC Sonoma for doing amazing things for our community, including a largest-ever grant for the Free Bookmobile’s youth outreach program!


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Jenner Inn To Host Free Bookmobile FUNdraiser Dinner
Written by admin, November 5th, 2019   

FB Dinner Flyer

Another great way to support us in our time of need! Our friends at Jenner Inn are generously hosting a gourmet dinner FUNdraiser on November 21 on the gorgeous Sonoma Coast. We’ll have drinks, music, mingling, a lovely meal and a FREE choose-your-own raffle. The Jenner community has always been enthusiastic about our outreach and we are thrilled to have them behind us as we campaign to raise money for our new bookmobile and operations. Huge thanks to Charlie Coyne and his staff at the Jenner Inn for providing everything so that 100% of the proceeds will benefit our non-profit program!

Please check the flyer above for details and get your tickets today as space is limited. You can click here to use a credit card: https://tinyurl.com/y5re88my

OR send a check made payable to “Free Bookmobile” to Jenner Community Club, PO Box 1, Jenner, CA 95450.

See you there!


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Bethlehem Foundation Powers Senior Outreach for Fifth Year Running
Written by admin, November 1st, 2019   

Guerrilla community service

Our generous sponsors at the local Bethlehem Foundation have once again stepped forward to make sure we will be able to carry on our senior outreach in 2020. This has been a terrific partnership stretching back to 2015 and has meant that thousands more area elders, especially those of lesser financial means, have enjoyed the benefits of bookmobile service to their doorsteps.

Bringing books to access-challenged seniors has been a priority for the program since day one. Even during our initial trailer phase, we were able to find enough space in low-income housing parking lots to set up at properties like PEP Vallejo Street Apartments & Jennings Court. We wheeled our library-style carts down the ramp and into intimate browsing configurations for the residents. Check out the photo of one of these early visits!

We appreciate Bethlehem Foundation for reinvesting their funds right back into the community, even as the high-rise building they sold was guaranteed to continue serving it’s original constituency: aging folks with few resources. It’s a win-win for all of us and we thank them for their mission!


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Crowdfunding Campaign Launched to Replace Bookmobile Vehicle
Written by admin, October 24th, 2019   

FundRazr

Please help us build a replacement bookmobile so we can continue our important work spreading literacy and love of reading throughout Sonoma County!

We have received notice that our beloved big green truck must be phased out due to new CA air quality regulations. Good bookmobiles are scarce out there on the used market and new ones are extremely expensive. So we’re going to build our own and have set up a crowdfunding page to make it happen: https://fundrazr.com/bookmobile

For the past 10 years, our award-winning non-profit program has been boosting educational outcomes for local children, helping low-income families read together, and offering seniors opportunities for intellectual and social stimulation. We have grown this outreach to serve 25,000 people per year and demand for our bookmobile visits keeps rising. Our site partners want more but it will all come to a sudden halt unless we get a new vehicle ready by the end of the year. Please click here to donate now!

Fortunately we have already tracked down a great base model box truck we can convert. It has a semi-translucent roof for daytime illumination, a suitable patron entrance, and really low mileage on a workhorse V10 engine — should last another quarter million miles without breaking a sweat! Best of all, we won’t be giving up any shelf space compared to our original bookmobile. In fact our new custom interior design will let us offer an even bigger variety of high-quality free books to the public.

Please consider making a generous donation toward our goal! All the money will stay local as we have Sonoma County vendors lined up to do the conversion work: hardware modifications, electric & lighting, carpet, and of course the shelves that will carry thousands of great books of all types and levels to eager readers out there who are challenged for access to other resources. Your donation will only be processed if we reach our ENTIRE GOAL, so you can be assured the project will be completed and our new bookmobile will hit the road. And if you wish, your name and/or donation amount can remain anonymous to other visitors to this page.

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for your help in our time of need!!


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Free Bookmobile Graduates to Independent NPO Status
Written by admin, September 2nd, 2019   

Thank You SCPLF!

After five years of very productive partnership with the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation (SCPLF), the Free Bookmobile has graduated to independent status with its own non-profit registration. We’re striking out on our own to see if we can grow the program into a permanent institution that will outlive its founders!

SCPLF has been a terrific and resilient ally, and we are tremendously grateful for their unflagging support of our mission. They approached us in 2014 with the idea of mutual benefit and their assistance allowed us to focus better on what we do so well: create access to high quality books for the underserved. Our impact grew by 20% in each of the next several years, a testament to the success of the relationship, and a wonderful gift to the children, adults and seniors throughout the region.

The Free Bookmobile now seeks to blossom into a significantly larger organization, which means it’s time to part ways, in application if not in spirit. We continue to appreciate the SCPLF mission: to support of the Sonoma County Public Library System as well as other organizations, programs, and activities that aim to promote the use of library resources, enthusiasm for reading and increased literacy for Sonoma County residents.

Thank you for all we accomplished together!


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Free Bookmobile Restricted to Limited Routes — Seeking Funding for New Vehicle
Written by admin, August 16th, 2019   

THE FREE BOOKMOBILE SERVICE HAS BEEN RESTRICTED TO EXTREMELY LIMITED ROUTES. Our bookmobile engine no longer meets California air quality standards so we can only operate it on a low-mileage exemption. We will be prioritizing our 13 public-access locations for weekend/evening service, plus a few other events to help us meet our grant obligations. Our website schedule page has been updated and we hope to see you out there! We still have terrific books to offer everyone at these select locations.

Ultimately we must acquire a vehicle with engine model year 2010 or newer. This will likely cost $30,000 or more. We’re getting to work on assessing the equipment options and we’ll be posting again here about our fundraising efforts. A new bookmobile will allow us to get back to serving children at their schools and seniors at their residences during weekdays. We apologize for the hiatus in these events.

If you can help us, please contact Director Glen Weaver (phone number and email address on the Contact page of our website: freebookmobile.org). You can also CLICK HERE to go straight to our donation page.

Thank you!!!

 


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Free Bookmobile in Need of Board Books & Early Readers
Written by admin, July 22nd, 2019   

Book examples

We are running low on certain categories of books that are in great demand. Do you have any board books or early readers that you can send our way? Because instilling a love of reading is more successful when begun early in life, we prioritize service to young children and their families. This means we go through a lot of these types of books!

If you are a parent or grandparent with kids who have outgrown these, we’d love to have them for our shelves. Think about how much another child would enjoy them, maybe even a child who wouldn’t otherwise have access to developmentally appropriate reading material. Board books are the ones with tough cardboard pages for babies and toddlers. Early readers are for those just learning to read (usually 5 – 7 years old, preschool through kindergarden or 1st grade). They have simple sentences in large font, a small amount of text per page, and most have a number level on the front. We are in need of all levels but especially Level 1.

For the latest on ALL our children’s book needs, please see our full-page listing categorized by age by clicking here. And you can click here to see our current list of donation drop-off locations. We so appreciate your participation in our literacy program!


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Sydney Miller Hired as New Mobile Librarian
Written by admin, June 1st, 2019   

Sydney Miller

A big welcome to our new Mobile Librarian, Sydney Miller! Sydney comes to us with lots of experience working with children and young adults across a range of contexts. This includes educational and recreational settings with emphasis on interaction, personal growth and team building. We think this is a great fit for helping our patrons access the resources on our shelves. “I am a natural advocate for people in diverse communities to gain access to quality books,” Sydney explained. “As a first generation college graduate, my own youth in a low-income home in Mt. Shasta was supported by the local library. Reading was a connection to our community and to my future education. I was a late bloomer with books and I remember how empowering it was to learn to read.” She has long since put that late start behind her and in fact will be starting coursework for a Masters in School Counseling this fall.

Sydney has been on board training since late April and is now driving routes solo, so you’ll see a lot of her behind the desk. She is looking forward to connecting with all our patrons and continuing to build our bookmobile following. She’s also eager to learn more about various featured authors so be sure to tell her what you’ve been reading lately!

 


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