GPL Column: Volunteering is foundation of libraries

Two years ago, I received a call asking if I would be interested in joining the Greenwood Library Foundation. And I’ll be honest—my first thought was “am I old enough?” I was in my late 30s and working full-time, and my assumption was that all library foundations and “Friends” groups were really reserved for retirees with time on weekdays for volunteer events.

Boy was I wrong.

I did in fact join the foundation and quickly learned that my life as a working mom of elementary children added a fresh perspective to the group and balanced out the diverse members. Fast forward to today and I am now on staff at Greenwood Public Library. And what is part of my role at GPL? To be the liaison between the library and the foundation. Life is funny that way, isn’t it?

Despite my original assumptions, our foundation is not restricted to a particular age or season of life. Today, our foundation covers a wide range of ages and includes bankers, a lawyer, a chiropractor, a retired police officer, and a self-proclaimed dog mom, to name a few. What they do have in common, though, is that they love seeing Greenwood Public Library active in the community. We are so fortunate to have this group of enthusiastic and engaged members.

What does the foundation do, exactly? Well, to put it simply, the foundation makes Greenwood Public Library programs and events possible. Through fundraising and special events, the foundation helps bring the wow to the library. This allows our GPL staff to dream big as they plan out the year. Monthly board meetings are used to plan events that will raise awareness of the library’s needs and raise the funds to make informative yet entertaining programs happen.

But we don’t just raise money and drop it in the library’s lap. You shouldn’t be surprised to see foundation members at many library functions. This summer alone, the foundation has volunteered at our annual Community Shred Day, passed out popcorn at our summer Cartoons in the Park series, and walked in the Freedom Festival Parade. If you’re attending a larger event at GPL, chances are you’ll find a foundation member there helping out.

And you can help make GPL programs happen, too. Coming up on the foundation’s agenda is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year — Purse Bingo. This event will be held on Wednesday, September 7 at the Moose Lodge in Greenwood. It is an incredibly fun evening where attendees have equal opportunities to win a designer purse. Through 20 rounds of Bingo, 50/50 drawings and raffle baskets, attendees are bound to have an exciting night out. Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased from the library’s 2nd-floor help desk or online at GPL’s website, Proceeds from this event go straight to future library programs and events.

We hope to see you at a GPL event soon. Make sure you stop and say hello to the foundation volunteers. And of course, we’d love to see you at our Purse Bingo fundraiser. What could be better than having fun and helping the library at the same time, right?

Julia Reynolds is the Community Relations Specialist at Greenwood Public Library. GPL staff members share in writing this bi-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected]