Some years ago, Havurah member Todd built a Little Free Library for his front yard. The moment I saw it, I knew the Havurah should also get one. I got the LFL built as a time trade – one of my most favorite things! – out of scrap lumber (upcycling trash!). And voila, the Havurah is helping to circulate free books – everyone’s favorite things – in the neighborhood. When we were inundated with donated books, Merit started curating the LFL, slowly putting books of different types and topics out in it for passersby to peruse. More recently, Meryl read about a project to diversify the books in LFLs so that they better represent all of us. Now the Havurah is purchasing some new and some used diverse children’s books, and slowly stocking them in our LFL. We’re funding the diverse books project with money that was donated in memory of Reena Kling, z”l, always a staunch proponent of tzedakah and tikkun olam.
Finally, when a Little Free Pantry appeared in my neighborhood, I again thought that was something that would be in the Havurah’s sweet spot. I had no idea how it would take off! I wasn’t able to get it built as a time trade, but a former Havurah community member, Nathan Rome, built it as a volunteer. That people who came to the Havurah even decades ago continue to love it is one of my favorite things. Meanwhile, Todd had gotten active in supporting Somerville’s community refrigerators, and Monica had reached out to Saint Clement Church in Medford as part of a Sukkot ushpizin program, to invite guests into the Havurah sukkah. These two streams have combined so that the Saint Clement congregation is donating LOTS of food to the Havurah to distribute through the LFP and the community refrigerators.
I love these projects that the Havurah has undertaken, and the processes through which we work on them, the people who nurture them and the results of the Havurah being a good citizen in the neighborhood, knitting the local community together a little bit more snugly. I love that they combine so many of my favorite things, and of course, as you can see, the Havurah itself is one of my very favorite things.