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Ontario County Libraries Take Part in “The Great Give Back”


This month, the OWWL Library System is sponsoring a service initiative collecting personal care items to support community members in need. Thirty-one libraries across Ontario, Wayne, Wyoming, and Livingston Counties are participating in the project called “The Great Give Back.”

The “Great Give Back” started on Long Island in 2017 by the Suffolk County Public Library Directors Association, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, and Nassau Library System. The mission “is to provide a day of opportunities for the patrons of the Public Libraries of New York State to participate in meaningful, service-oriented experiences.” Over the past six years, The “Great Give Back” has spread across the state with a total of 299 libraries participating in 2022.

Locally, participating libraries will collect a variety of personal care items including socks, gloves, toothbrushes and toothpaste, menstrual products, diapers, travel-sized First Aid Kits, hand warmers, wet wipes, shampoo and conditioner, and deodorant. All items should be new, and donors are encouraged to check with their local library about specific needs. .

The Red Jacket Community Library has participated in the “Great Give Back” for several years and is excited about the system-wide project this year. “Due to the rise of need in our community, we created an in-library hygiene shelf to offer free products to any and all who need them,” library director Jordan Schneider said. “Participating in the “Great Give Back” inspires our community to come together for a cause to help each other. Donated products this year will be used to restock our in-library Community Hygiene Shelf and the rest will be donated to our local Twin Cities Food Cupboard.”

Avon Free Library director Grace Frenzel agrees. “We love the “Great Give Back” because it energizes and focuses our efforts to serve this incredible community, while libraries across the state do the same! This year we will be splitting donations between the Avon Food Pantry and Stone’s Closet, a no-questions-asked community resource for Avon students and families in need.”

The OWWL Libraries Great Give Back project will kick off on Saturday, October 21, and conclude on Saturday, November 4, 2023. Each library will choose the final organization or place for the collected items based on their individual community and may include local food distribution sites, little free pantries, and school groups.

The OWWL Library System, headquartered in Canandaigua, supports library services across Ontario, Wayne, Wyoming, and Livingston Counties.

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