One year ago, St. Clement's donated money from its diaconal outreach fund to the Lynn Valley Library, with the suggestion that the library consider using it to launch a fund supporting the purchase of materials helpful in building a strong, resilient community.
Library director Jacqueline van Dyke and her staff took the idea to heart, and the Caring Community Fund was born. More donations were added, and members of the library team began working on their first project - Caring Community kits. These "grab and go" bags offer a one-stop shop for engaging materials on a particular topic. There are different kits for different ages; kits for young people on kindness, Indigenous culture, or black identity, for example, may have puppets or specially chosen games as well as books. There are adult kits on societal topics, too, and one that includes a range of conversation starters and ice-breaker activities to foment good discussion.
There are currently 16 kits ready or near completion, with more topics still under development. Just like a library book, each kit can be checked out for 21 days to give borrowers the chance to real immerse themselves in learning and thinking about the subject at hand.
The fund was inspired by the creative and compassionate response that followed the tragic stabbing at Lynn Valley Village in March 2021. St. Clement's intent was to help the library purchase materials on any topic considered important in building healthy, kind relationships within and between families, neighbourhoods and nations.
Ongoing donations to the Caring Community Fund can be made here.