Extreme Makeover: Library Edition

Posted on Monday, July 2, 2018 by Melissa Howison

The team steps off the bus in matching gray t-shirts and game faces, ready for the challenge that awaits them. Will they be able to turn this cluttered library and learning center into a polished hidden gem in just 5 hours? Let’s find out.

On June 19, ten volunteers from the Annie E. Casey Foundation travelled to the Village Learning Place to spend their work day in service of the community. Their day of service entailed helping four VLP staff members declutter, organize, and clean various work and storage areas in the library at 2521 St. Paul Street and in the administrative building at 2510 St. Paul Street. Closets, classrooms, and offices went from drab to fab in just one day on this episode of extreme makeover: library edition.

The efforts of the entire team renewed safety and functionality to spaces that the VLP staff relies on every day to fulfill our mission to promote literacy, cultural awareness, and lifelong learning. The transformative outcome of the service day would not have been possible without the dedication of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Business Volunteers Maryland, an organization that facilitates partnerships between nonprofits and private sector businesses.

Robin McFadden, the Volunteer and Events Coordinator at BVM, has experienced the power those partnerships can generate, through her work.

“The business community has a critical opportunity to impact our city and support the incredible work of local nonprofits,” she said. “By bringing their time, talent, and resources to the nonprofit community, they can expand the impact of individual nonprofits exponentially—it’s truly wonderful to see what can be accomplished when we work together.”

Community partners are incredibly valuable to the VLP’s work as a nonprofit organization. After working with VLP staff to coordinate and complete the day of service, Satonya Fair, the Director of Grants Management at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and a Service Captain on the volunteer team, said, “My initial reflection was appreciation for all that you do to support the local community often with limited resources.”

As the only library in Charles Village, and a completely independent one, many of the VLP’s resources are devoted to maintaining: library operations, educational programming, public events, and the library building’s historic infrastructure. Support from corporations and foundations increases our ability to maximize the quality of those services, and in turn strengthen the community we all love. Swapping a work day for a service day is only one of the many ways to partner with the VLP. Businesses, foundations, and other potential community partners can also:

  • Sponsor one of our annual fundraising events; Spaghetti Disco or Read Between the Wines.
  • Encourage team members to visit VLP classrooms, either to speak to adolescents in career exploration courses, or to read during story time for our younger learners.
  • Sponsor a special collection in the library.
  • Provide in-kind services, such as printing, consulting, or advertising.

If you would like to discuss any of the opportunities listed above, or have another idea about how your company can get involved with the Village Learning P

lace, please reach out to Austin Tremblay, Director of Development, at austin.tremblay@villagelearningplace.org