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St. James Friends of the Library using grant money to donate to local causes

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

Through a pair of received grants, the St. James Friends of the Library are donating books to the backpack program and purchasing hotspots for students who don't have access to the internet at home as students continue with the hybrid learning model.

Through a MALF (Minnesota Association of Library Friends) grant, the Friends of the St. James Library earned $500 to buy books for the backpack program.

The two books that will be distributed are "The Story of Snow" and "100 Snowmen."

The St. James Friends of the Library also received $771 dollars from the Community Fund to help pay for the purchase of books.

"We're very thankful for the money that we received and we're thankful that we can put it back into the community," said Donna Koch.

Also included in the $500 is a monetary fund for the backpack program.

Only ten grants were awarded throughout the state.

Through $2,000 in CARES funding, the St. James Friends of the Library was also able to purchase three hotspots for students who don't have internet.

"This is really important because the weather is getting worse and every day they walk to the library from the school," said Koch. "They will be able to check these out. Now students can have a hotspot and work together."

Through the Marge Jenkins Memorial, the library was able to purchase a small, bronze statue for the "beautification and enhancement of the library."

Due to COVID-19, the library has not been able to hold many of its fundraising events—such as book sales and luncheons—this year, so the money has that has come in has been vital for the group to give back to the community.

"We are very grateful for the money that has come in—the grants and so— because that enables us to do our projects and keep them going and to promote the library in our community," said Koch.