Washington, PA

On Wed., Oct. 26, 2016 at 11:00 a.m., Community Action Southwest (CAS) will celebrate the launch of its latest awareness project, Little Free Libraries, with a ribbon cutting at 84 Lumber, Eighty Four, PA. 84 Lumber is the inaugural corporate Little Free Library supporter and sponsor of six libraries. David Newell, who has played Mr. McFeely on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, will be on hand to make a “speedy delivery” of books for the project.

The Little Free Libraries campaign is an ongoing fundraising and literacy awareness project. Community leaders, corporations and CAS supporters are invited to sponsor a Little Free Library, which is an outdoor cabinet that provides easily accessible, free books to the community. Little Free Libraries will be placed near early childhood education centers, public housing communities, and lower income neighborhoods. Users are encouraged to borrow and donate books – new or used, and participate in this free community book exchange. The libraries will be maintained by volunteers throughout the year to keep them well stocked and fresh.

CAS recognizes that more than any other single skill, the ability to read – and read well – allows children to succeed in school, learn about the world, function in society, and someday secure a good job. According to the U.S. Department of Education, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not; and the more types of reading materials there are in the home, the higher students are in reading proficiency. According to Darlene J. Bigler, Community Action Southwest CEO, “Little Free Libraries serve as a simple solution to help address this complex problem – one that can be addressed locally, by everyone in the community, doesn’t require much effort or resources, and is sustainable.”

For each Inaugural Sponsorship, CAS will coordinate the construction of a Little Free Library using local manpower and ecofriendly resources. It will be installed in the community on the sponsor’s behalf, filled with books for children and adults of all ages and registered with LittleFreeLibraries.org. Each library will also be personalized with the sponsoring business’ logo or the name of someone the sponsor wishes to honor or memorialize. One sponsorship will enable CAS to construct, install, monitor and maintain the library for a full year.

Cathy Friend, Co-Owner and CFO of Friend Aircare, and an avid reader, is partnering with CAS to launch this campaign. “My love of reading started at an early age when my mother shared her passion with me,” said Friend. “This a great opportunity for parents or grandparents to sponsor a Little Free Library in honor of their children and continue the legacy of reading for pleasure and to expand our horizons.” CAS plans to place at least 30 free libraries within the next year.

The community is invited to participate in this initiative to help increase children’s literacy and opportunities for their success. Volunteers are being recruited to help construct and install the little free libraries, and may contact CAS at https://caswg.org/volunteer, or by calling 724/225-9550. Donations can be made by pressing the Donate Now! button on the agency’s website at https://caswg.org, or mailed to CAS, 150 W. Beau Street, Suite 304, Washington, PA, 15301.


Community Action Southwest is a local non-profit organization that strengthens families and builds community. It is one of 43 community action agencies in PA and more than 1,100 nationwide, designated to implement strategies that alleviate poverty and help individuals and families reach and maintain self-sufficiency.