14 Apr Helping Our Community
The Delray Beach Public Library Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic!
“Libraries across the county are stepping up during this health crisis; providing resources, vital information, and continuing our work with community partners providing vitally needed social services. Here’s how your Delray Beach Public Library has joined the struggle and been there to help.
Caring Kitchen & CROS Ministries
When COVID-19 struck our community, traditional venues for the Caring Kitchen meal distribution were shut down. The Caring Kitchen turned to the Library for help! We happily offered our open parking lot, where Shona Castillo, Program Director for the Caring Kitchen, and her staff quickly set up shop. The Caring Kitchen has served meals between 12:00 and 1:00 pm every weekday. Mykal Banta, Assistant Director of the Delray Beach Public Library, volunteers on site every Monday and Friday afternoon.
To date, 2248 meals were provided. The Delray Beach Public Library is also providing the needy free paperbacks!”
Librarians everywhere have a mission to help improve lives and to identify and answer the needs of the community they serve. When crisis comes, as it has now, librarians go into overdrive.Case in point: Librarian, Jane Weiss, who recently hand-sewed 222 face masks for the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis, dipping into her own pocket to supply the materials needed.
On Monday, April 13, the masks were presented to Shona Castillo (Program Director of the Caring Kitchen at CROS Ministries) and Ariana Ciancio (Population Advocate for the DBPD).
Shona and Ariana began distributing the masks immediately at the Caring Kitchen Meals, which are served every weekday between 12:00 and 1:00 pm in the parking lot of the Delray Beach Public Library (the Library has partnered with the Caring Kitchen so that they might continue their meals to the hungry during this crisis).
All of Jane’s masks were passed out to the neediest among this at-risk population. Greg (pictured) who did not have a mask, was very grateful for Jane’s efforts!
The Great Paperback Giveaway
During the weekday Caring Kitchen Meals, the Delray Beach Public Library passes out free paperbacks. This has proven an extremely popular service. Just ask Francis (pictured), who told us that “Getting the book is nearly as important to me as getting the meal.”
Wash & Read
Offering the needy free laundry services! This initiative, a Delray Beach Public Library original service created by Isabella Rowan (Educational Programming), began washing clothes for the neediest in November of 2019. The Library hasn’t skipped a beat during the COVID-19 Pandemic despite library closing, and we will continue the service until we re-open! We also pass out free paperbacks and water! Mykal Banta, Assistant Director, hosts Wash and Read. Wash and Read is held every third Wednesday of the month at the Laundry Stop of Delray Beach (718 George Bush Blvd., Delray Beach – 33438).
Offering the homeless the chance for a fresh start! The Interfaith Committee for Social Services’ Shower Truck has been offering the homeless of Delray Beach a hot shower twice a week during this Pandemic (increased from once a week during this health crisis). Closed briefly, the Shower Truck reopened on April 3 with the cooperation of Ariana Ciancio, Population Advocate of the Delray Beach Police Department. Since its reopening, the Shower Truck has given nearly 100 showers to Delray’s homeless men and women. Showers are offered every Tuesday and Friday mornings (10:00 to 12:00) in the parking lot of St. Matthews Episcopal Church. Mykal Banta, Assistant Director of the Delray Beach Public Library, volunteers at the Shower Truck every Friday morning.
The Delray Beach Public Library still has one little “branch” open!
Understanding the great comfort a good book can give in crisis, Library Building Supervisor and resident Jack-of-All-Trades, Christian Goranson, went to work. Bringing his wood-working and construction expertise to the fore, Christian has given the Library our very own “Little Library.”
Posted solidly on one of the Library’s Royal Palms directly in front of the back entrance (and braced in a way to leave the palm unscratched); the Delray Beach Little Library is a beautiful sight to behold! Come see for yourself! Start swapping out your paperbacks!