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Grant Supports Library Program for Teens


Janet Branham Posted by: Janet Branham 1 month ago

Teen Comfort Cabinet at the Huntington City-Township Public Library

Huntington City-Township Public Library (HCTPL) Librarian Jessi Brown and Community Foundation Board Member Heather Larr stand by the Teen Comfort Cabinet at the HCTPL.

Community Foundation Board Member and former Lilly Scholar Heather Larr received a grant through the Lead Forward Community Grant Program to benefit a program for teens at the Huntington City-Township Public Library. Independent Colleges of Indiana, in collaboration with the Lilly Scholars Network, created the Lead Forward Community Grants Program to help further develop Indiana communities. In their recent newsletter, the Lilly Scholars Network asked Heather a couple of questions about why she chose this particular project. Her response is below. Congratulations to Heather on being awarded a grant that will improve the lives of teens in our community!

Why did you decide to apply for Lead Forward Community Grants funding? 
Having benefited from the support of the Lilly Endowment and Independent Colleges of Indiana during my teenage years, I am deeply honored to leverage the grant funds available through the Lilly Scholars Network to positively impact the teens in my community. The dedicated Teen Librarian and staff at the Huntington City-Township Public Library have diligently provided essential items to teens through local donations. The Lead Forward Community Grant offers an opportunity to establish a more sustainable funding source to ensure the continuity of this vital resource this year. 

What will grant funding allow you to do for the Teen Comfort Cabinet?
The Huntington City-Township Library is dedicated to creating a welcoming environment where individuals of all ages can engage in learning, exploration, community, and personal growth. In October 2021, the Teen Comfort Cabinet was established in the library’s main branch to address the needs of teens facing financial and nutritional insecurities. The cabinet serves as a resource hub, providing essential items such as pads, tampons, toiletries, and snacks to those in need of support.

Daily usage and positive feedback from the community have demonstrated the profound impact of the Teen Comfort Cabinet. However, sustaining and expanding the cabinet requires ongoing support. The Lead Forward Community Grant is generously enabling us to replenish and enhance the offerings of the cabinet. This support is not only strengthening the cabinet’s sustainability but also helping teens maintain dignity and agency in their lives.

Hopefully, this project inspires scholars to explore possibilities at their local libraries, encouraging them to consider initiatives that could benefit their communities. Additionally, if your library already has a similar program in place, contributing items to support their efforts can make a meaningful difference. Public libraries play a crucial role in providing safe spaces for learning and community engagement, and there are numerous avenues for involvement. Together, let’s continue to foster positive impacts in our communities and support the invaluable resources our libraries provide!