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My Hands to Larger Service Spotlight: Putnam County

Putnam County 4-H'er Carter Takarsh led the way on adding a Little Free Library to his community

two youth in a yard with tools and lumber

While thinking about ways people could get up and move more in their community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Carter Takarsh and the Clover STEMs 4-H LEGO® Robotics team members decided that their area needed a Little Free Library®. Their community of Fraziers Bottom is far away from any of Putnam County’s public libraries. In addition to building and installing a Little Free Library at the intersection of three subdivisions in the community, Takarsh planned to provide starter books for the library.

There were many steps to completing this project. First, Takarsh and the Clover STEMs applied for several grants to support the work, including a My Hands to Larger Service mini-grant. Next, the team had to complete a property search to find out who owned the property where they wanted to install the Little Free Library and receive permission from the property owner.

two teens installing a little library box in a yard

The Little Free Library provides books for over one hundred households in Fraziers Bottom, West Virginia. The library was started with thirty-two donated books, so it is a conservation project also. Takarsh said they have had a lot of interest in the library and hope to build other libraries in our community. The library is registered with the Little Free Library program (Charter #129530) and appears on its global library map.

In addition to the My Hands to Larger Service Mini-grant, this project was financially supported by AEP, Mr. C.P. Farley, and Putnam County 4-H. The My Hands to Larger Service Mini-grants in West Virginia started in 2020 and are funded by the West Virginia 4-H All Stars.

Learn more about the mini-grant program