Holiday giving may boost Bookmobile Fund

The season of giving kicks into high gear on Tuesday, Nov. 28 with #Giving Tuesday, and Patrick County Branch Library officials hope donors will take advantage of the renewed opportunities to support the Bookmobile Fund.

“We invite you to join us on Facebook at Patrick County Branch Library and Bookmobile and to promote the bookmobile through your social media, especially on #Giving Tuesday,” Patrick County Branch Library Manager Garry Clifton said. “Sharing our story is fun and also could spark new donations.”

#Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration viewed by many as the kickoff of the holiday giving season.

The date also marks the one-year anniversary of the drive to raise funds to replace the Patrick County Branch Library’s aging bookmobile.

When the effort began in earnest last year, the fund contained little more than $26,000 that had been donated over a 10-year period.

The Bookmobile Fund now stands at more than $134,000, more than $50,000 shy of the $185,000 needed to buy a new bookmobile.

Since last November, individual donors, businesses and civic groups in and around Patrick County have contributed nearly $60,000 to the fund.

“We are really pleased with the progress we’ve made, but we still need community support to reach our goal,” said Linda Wilson, head of the Blue Ridge Regional Library Foundation.

Communities in and around Patrick County “have been incredibly supportive,” Wilson said. “We have seen large donations from several individuals and one family foundation, but the bulk of our donations are $100 and under, and come from many donors, especially bookmobile and library patrons.

The bookmobile project also has garnered support from the county, with a $35,000 allocation for this fiscal year. The library system and the BRRL Foundation also are pursuing public and private grants.

“We have also had great support from the Friends of the Library, through their book sales, and from groups” such as Ruritan and Rotary clubs, she said. “We have received significant support from businesses, including our sponsors for the ‘Writing Our Region’ event, which also attracted donors from Martinsville and Henry County.”

That single event boosted the bookmobile fund by nearly $10,000, Wilson said, adding contributions of any amount are important and appreciated.

“I think the most gratifying donations are ones we’ve received from school groups, where the children decided to raise funds for the bookmobile,” she said.

The foundation and the library system are partnering on a number of projects, working together to meet their goal and raise the more than $50,000 needed to buy the new bookmobile before the current fiscal year ends on June 30, 2018.

Fundraising efforts underway include a bookmobile-themed Christmas tree and donation box that will soon be on display at the Patrick County Branch Library.

The library also is offering a holiday raffle on a gift basket filled with goodies that is sure to delight anyone who loves books and reading. The basket will be displayed from December 1, with the winning ticket drawn on December 21, according to a release.

“We would also be pleased to help you recognize a friend or family member with a Christmas gift to the bookmobile,” Clifton said. “We will send a holiday card to the person you designate with your donation.”

To participate in the Christmas recognition program, talk to a staff member at the library or make a donation to the Bookmobile Fund by check. Mail to: Patrick County Branch Library, P. O. Box 787 Stuart, Va. 24171. Be sure to include the name and address of the person you wish to recognize.

Contributions also can be made by credit card on the Bookmobile Fund webpage at www.patrickcountybookmobilefund.org.

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