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Healdsburg Kiwanis Club Makes First Donation to Free Bookmobile
Written by admin, September 24th, 2017   


We are always thrilled to make new friends and partnerships toward fulfilling our mission. This one got off to a quick start! Just days after receiving a donation from Healdsburg Kiwanis Club toward our operations in their area, we were proud to collaborate on their first-ever Family Safety Fair at the Healdsburg Community Center. It was a great turnout as children received new bicycle helmets, participated in a skills rodeo, had lunch with their neighbors…and of course took home great free books!

Kiwanis Clubs have a wonderful service tradition. From the Healdsburg Club: We are members of the community, dedicated to the children of the world. We have been in Healdsburg since November 1923 and continue to support many Healdsburg organizations, families, children and important community needs. Some of the programs we support, sponsor or offer include the Relay for Life, Healdsburg High School’s Key Club, the Fitch Mountain Footrace, the Book Project, Christmas Tree Sales, FFA Food Sales, Pancake Breakfast, and many high school scholarships.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers, dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. The name “Kiwanis” means “we trade” or “we share our talents.” It was coined from an American Indian expression, Nunc Kee-wanis. No problem is too big or too small. Why? Because working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. When you give a child a chance to learn, experience, dream, and succeed, great things happen!

Finley Foundation Provides Major Funding of Free Bookmobile for Sixth Straight Year
Written by admin, August 4th, 2017   

The Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County looks forward to another record-breaking year of service to access-challenged people throughout the region thanks to the renewal of major funding by the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation! We are extremely grateful for this generous investment in local literacy that will keep us rolling to the schools, neighborhoods and senior housing where we are needed most. Finley Foundation support has been crucial to our growth in reach and impact, helping us continue our streak of 20% annual gains in service outcomes. Grants like theirs also enable us to focus our attention on growing the value of our service, as we continue to improve the effectiveness of our routes and the quality of books we offer on board.

The Finley Foundation has been a tremendous source of funding for community programs throughout the North Bay since 1985, particularly in the areas of child welfare, health and human services, and arts and culture. Some of their high-profile projects include the Finley Community Center & Aquatic Center and the Social Advocates for Youth Finley Dream Center.

Community Events Featuring Book Drives Coming in July
Written by admin, July 9th, 2017   

My Gym Santa Rosa & KBBF 89.1 FM

We are excited about two upcoming family-friendly community events that are also opportunities for you to help us stock our shelves with great books! On Friday, July 21, My Gym Children’s Fitness Center in north Santa Rosa will be hosting their Family Fun Night and the Free Bookmobile will be there to join the festivities from 5:30 – 7 Pm. This is a great chance to bring us your new and gently used kids’ books, as well as to check out what My Gym has to offer. The experts in children’s fitness, My Gym has developed an extraordinary program and facility devised to help children 6 weeks thru 10 years of age develop physically, cognitively and emotionally. Their structured, age-appropriate, weekly classes incorporate music, dance, relays, games, special rides, gymnastics, sports and more. Children have loads of fun as they gain strength, balance, coordination, agility and flexibility while developing social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Local owner Lorna Brown has been a Free Bookmobile supporter for years and we’re really looking forward to a good turnout.

On Saturday, July 29, KBBF Bilingual Radio 89.1 FM will be hosting a special family event at the station (1700 Corby Avenue). Scheduled for 1 – 4 Pm, KBBF will be featuring notable artists’ displays, local non-profits, hands-on art activities for children, and lots of yummy food for purchase as a fundraiser for this all-volunteer radio station. And of course the Free Bookmobile will be offering fabulous books to all in attendance. We would be grateful for any bilingual and/or Spanish-language books you could bring that day to boost our future outreach to the county’s low-income Latino communities. Hope to see you there!

Chocolate & Cinema Returns to the Rialto Cinemas on August 3
Written by admin, June 30th, 2017   


Come enjoy a fun event for the whole family while supporting the Free Bookmobile’s parent organization, the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation. This year our fundraiser features a big-screen presentation of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at Rialto Cinemas in downtown Sebastopol. A bag full of specialty chocolates and a small popcorn is included in the admission price, just $20 in advance or $25 per person at the door.

This fundraiser for the Library Foundation supports local literacy and all branches of the Sonoma County Public Library. Join us for this all-time classic film! Raiders of the Lost Ark on Rialto Cinemas #1 theater – the big one. Our special thanks to the Rialto staff and the local chocolatiers that are donating their delicious treats.

Purchase tickets now by clicking here to visit the event page – $20 in advance ($25 at the door).

Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati Supports Local Service by Free Bookmobile
Written by admin, May 1st, 2017   

Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati

The good folk of the Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati have been believers in the Free Bookmobile mission for a number of years now. Their members have helped connect us with valuable resources to advance that mission, and have continued that support this spring with a financial donation toward area services. We are very happy to be associated with this hard working charitable group, current home of the District 5130 Governor, Wulff Reinhold.

In addition to engaging in fun projects like the distribution of children’s dictionaries that the Free Bookmobile joins, Rotary Club of RP-Cotati are people of action even outside their borders. One of their most recent endeavors was the reforesting of Middletown subsequent to the devastating fire. A total of 14 club members, their family and friends joined over 350 other Rotarians, Interactors, and community volunteers in planting 4,000 Ponderosa pine seedlings in a Middletown park. Way to go, Rotary, and thank you for keeping us rolling to give away great books throughout your region!

Active 20-30 Club of Santa Rosa #50 Invests in New Books for Free Bookmobile Shelves
Written by admin, April 10th, 2017   

Active 20-30 Santa Rosa #50

We are delighted to grow our partnership with the wonderful local Active 20-30 Club of Santa Rosa #50! Active 20-30 US & Canada provides young adults with an opportunity for personal growth, friendships and leadership development while improving the quality of life for the special needs children in their community. The Santa Rosa club dates back to 1929 and these young professionals do a great job of raising money and volunteering, with an emphasis on assisting low-income Santa Rosa and Windsor families. We have been honored to work with them on a number of special events that have reached out to provide kids with holiday parties, back-to-school supplies, and more.

The club has just made a substantial donation from their Youth Benevolence Fund (YBF) to help us buy new Spanish-language and bilingual books for our shelves, books which are always in high demand on our travels. The bilingual books in particular make it easy for all household members to participate in the crucial activity of reading to young children each day. They also help people of all ages who are learning English as a second language. Thank you, Active 20-30 Santa Rosa!

United Way & Exchange Bank Collecting Children’s Books for Free Bookmobile Throughout March
Written by admin, March 1st, 2017   

UW Book Drive

Our good friends at United Way of the Wine Country’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) have once again organized a broad effort to collect thousands of children’s books for the Free Bookmobile! We are so very grateful for their annual project, which includes participation by all local Exchange Bank branches and several other community partners (please see below for the full list). The drive has been shifted from August to March, which helps us prepare for our big summer outreach! Here’s more from the UW website:

United Way of the Wine Country Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) is proud to present the United Way Children’s Book Drive. During the book drive, community members rally in support of education and childhood literacy by donating new and gently used English and Spanish children’s books. Books are collected during the drive and distributed to kids for free through United Way’s education initiatives and the Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County.  WLC has committed to make a difference in early childhood education in our community, and with your help, we can give all kids a chance to learn and be successful throughout school and life.

Join us to get free books to our area’s kids!  The magic begins as kids choose their books and young minds are opened up to possibilities and worlds which come alive through words on the pages. We need your support to rewrite the story of education for so many in the community.



Codding Foundation Fuels Free Bookmobile Children’s Services with Sixth-Year Funding
Written by admin, February 1st, 2017   

Codding Foundation

The new year has brought the exciting news that Codding Foundation has made another important financial contribution for our outreach to all the eager young readers out there in Sonoma County! Established in 1961 as part of Hugh Codding’s legacy, the Codding Foundation has consistently supported local agencies that help Sonoma County youth and families. President Connie Codding has been very active in local philanthropy for a number of years, which includes service on the boards of PDI Surgery Center, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific Board of Advocates in Sonoma County, Sonoma Paradiso Foundation and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sonoma State University.

The Free Bookmobile served over 12,000 local youth with terrific free books in 2016 and looks forward to an even bigger 2017 thanks to Codding’s crucial operational support. These dollars are often matched via other grant opportunities, creating additional leverage in pursuit of our mission to promote literacy and love of reading. Thank you, Connie, for continuing to include us as you make such a positive impact on people in need throughout the region!


Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Foundation Generously Funds Free Bookmobile
Written by admin, January 5th, 2017   

Rotary Club of Santa Rosa & Foundation

We are thrilled to open a new relationship with the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa and Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Foundation as they have awarded us a generous Community Grant for our 2017 work in their area. The Free Bookmobile has historically spent much of its time and resources visiting a wide variety of locations throughout the greater Santa Rosa and Roseland areas, and this financial assistance will help us expand that even further. We are especially keen to visit those who are less fortunate, less able to get around to libraries on their own, and those who are at risk of falling behind in school due to language acquisition barriers.

Fortunately our give-away model is very popular and is helping establish a new generation of enthusiastic readers, even in communities where literacy has not traditionally been emphasized. The bookmobile vehicle is a fantastic kid magnet, and we make sure we have modern, engaging books on board for every stop on our schedule. Thank you, Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, for helping us reach even more of these vulnerable populations in 2017!

Impact 100 Redwood Circle Makes Community Grant to Free Bookmobile
Written by admin, December 24th, 2016   

Impact 100 Redwood Circle

We love the Impact 100 model of philanthropy. So we were enthused to hear last year that community service juggernaut Melissa Kelley had found partners to set up a new chapter to benefit all of Sonoma County. Impact 100 Redwood Circle has already attracted over 150 members and made their first Impact Grant of $100,000 to Voices,  an innovative nonprofit that provides youth with the resources they need to make the leap from foster care to successful, independent adulthood.

How does Impact 100 work? It’s a women’s giving circle hosted by the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, designed to empower and enable local women to serve as philanthropic leaders by collectively funding significant grants that will make a lasting impact in our community. Impact 100 Redwood Circle is comprised of 100 or more women, each of whom makes an annual donation of $1,000. The group assesses critical needs in our community, reviews grant requests for financial support, and awards one Impact Grant of $100,000 each year, as well as additional smaller grants as funding allows.

Fortunately for us, Redwood Circle raised enough in their inaugural year to fund 5 smaller Community Grants. Their membership voted the Free Bookmobile as a recipient from a crowded field of 36 worthy organizations! We plan to put their investment to work immediately toward reaching at least 1,500 more people with our service in 2017. Thank you, ladies! All the best to you as your new endeavor takes shape, and we look forward to the further impact you will make in our community in years to come.


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