Girl Scout Troop constructs free library, pantry for Helena community

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – Those living in the Helena community now have something they can enjoy that’s sustainable, beneficial and free thanks to a project that was recently completed by a handful of girl scout troops in Helena.

Girl Scout Troop 30648, which consists of troops from Helena, Pelham, Montevallo and Columbiana came together and constructed a little free library and pantry that now sits on the side of the Jane B. Holmes Public Library in Helena.

The girls spent several weeks brainstorming ideas, constructing and painting the pantry, gathering supplies and putting it in place before members of the community could benefit from the project.

“They got together and they brainstormed some ideas and then they picked the ones that they liked the best and the troop was half and half on what they wanted to do,” Troop Leader Amy Sides said. “Some of them wanted a little free library and some of them wanted a little free pantry so we said, ‘why can’t we make it both?’ Nourish the mind and the body all at the same time.”

In order for the project to be a success, it needed to meet a need in the community that wasn’t something that’s a one-time thing. It needed to be something sustainable and it’s something the community can continue helping with as time goes on.

“It’s for the community, where they can take a can of food and take a book and then if you have books you don’t want or if you want to put cans in for someone else to get them you can do that too,” Girl Scout Anna Sides said. “We want people to take something and then replace it so it can keep being used. My favorite thing about the project was constructing it. It took a couple of weeks to build it and paint it.”

The Girl Scout Troop meets twice a month and this project was a result of several weeks of hard work. On the pantry, the words “take what you want, give what you can” are inscribed on the door for people to see.

Girl Scout Evie Cagle said she likes the project because so many people can benefit from it.

“I like how people can have the ability to read books and swap books and anyone that is hungry can come by and get a can of food,” Cagle said. “My favorite part was building the pantry and book shelf.”

The Jane B. Holmes is located at 230 Tucker Road in Helena. The little free library and pantry can be found on the outside of the library closest to the fire station.