Robin from Felton, Delaware

Delaware Public Libraries are simply wonderful.  They, of course, have all accoutrements of a library, books, CDs, DVDs, computers, magazines, special programs and more.  However, they also go well out of their way to help the community each and every day. They have a special Listserv that connects state and local agencies so that we can all keep each other updated on events and information.  This leads to the delivery of crucial information regarding a variety of topics in a timely manner.  They strive to partner with these state and local agencies in many ways to improve the lives of community members.  For this alone Delaware Public Libraries should be commended.

Two charities, Delaware Head Huggers and Kozy Kovers for Kids, would not be successful without the help of the Delaware Public Libraries.  I began Delaware Head Huggers to donate handmade hats to patients recovering from chemotherapy.  Kozy Kovers for Kids was started in an effort to donate handmade blankets to Delaware foster children and to children in crisis.  Through the Listserv, I was able to reach all the libraries in the state as well as hundreds of other contacts.  They in turn could share the information with their contacts.  This meant that many people learned about these causes in a short period of time, greatly increasing the number of donors.

The response from the people of Delaware was wonderful.  Many wanted to donate items they had created by hand.  The only difficulty was that many people could not afford to ship the beautiful items they made to donate.

Delaware Public Libraries stepped in and decided to make a huge difference to these programs in another way. Not only do they distribute brochures to patrons and open their knitting and crocheting groups to the idea of contributing, they go above and beyond.  Many libraries throughout the state are now official drop off sites for both programs.  The wonderful staff members collect hats and blankets and then have them couriered to my local library, the Kent County Public Library, where I am able to pick the items up once or twice a week.  This has opened the door; for so many people who could not have donated previously to now do so.  It has been incredible.

The Kent County Library allows me to drop off blankets and hats that are couriered across the state to other libraries. These items are then picked up by hospital staff members, police officers, social workers and others who help those in need.  This allows me to ship things to other states to help as many people as possible.

Since we started in 2010, more than 16,000 hats and 1,700 blankets have been donated.  People who have limited income are thrilled to have a place to donate without having to pay expensive shipping rates.  Almost every day, someone contacts me to tell me that they learned about these programs from a library here in Delaware.  There are many patients and children in this state and across the United State who have no idea they were helped thanks to the helping hand that the Delaware Public Libraries extended.  They are truly exceptional!