PIQUA — The Awesome Piqua Chapter of the Awesome Foundation recently helped make Piqua more awesome with a grant to St. James Episcopal Church for them to construct and operate a little free pantry and, nearby, a little free library.
Cindy Pearson and the Rev. Robert Hill were two of the church leaders who received Awesome Piqua’s “big check” — and a paper bag with $1,000 inside — on Nov. 14, awarded by Awesome Piqua trustees.
“This, our 11th grant, should help spread joy and delight in our community, as well as meeting the real needs of some of our fellow Piquads – that’s very awesome,” Dan French, dean of Awesome Piqua said.
Rev. Hill noted, “St. James has a long history of outreach to the community, and in the recent past, we had a large food pantry that served the needs of many in Piqua. Sadly, we no longer have a congregation large enough to support such a large ministry, but we still have the desire to reach out and serve the community.”
Rev. Hill said he told his congregation earlier this year about a little free pantry in his Columbus neighborhood, and they were inspired to start one in Piqua. “The idea behind a little free pantry is that it’s a store cupboard open to the community. Anyone who has anything extra they don’t need is welcome to put items in at any time. Anyone who needs something is invited to take it,” he said.
“These little free pantries are available at all hours. Perhaps best of all, they turn the client/patron relationship on its head. Whether donating or receiving everyone uses the same door. When someone is standing in front of the pantry, it is impossible to tell whether they’re putting items in or taking items out. Perhaps they’re doing both.”
The Awesome Piqua grant will allow for a little free pantry and a little free library to be built in front of the church at the corner of High and Wayne streets, Rev. Hill added.
“The library will be a community bookshelf and the pantry will be a community cupboard for non-perishable items. We invite and encourage everyone in the community to use them both and check them out frequently. If you have books or non-perishable items to spare, stop by and drop them off. Perhaps you’ll see something you want or need. If you need something, stop by and see what’s available. Perhaps you’ll realize you also have something to donate,” he said.
“If you find a good deal on toilet paper, diapers, or anything else, buy a little extra and drop off what you don’t need. The only rules for the pantry and library are simple: Take what you need. Leave what you can. Give as you are able.”
Awesome Piqua, the first Awesome Chapter in Ohio, is made up of 14 trustees from different ages and walks of life who contribute to make the $1,000 grants. Awesome Piqua is focused on funding new projects to make the Piqua community a better place in which to live and work — the mission of Positively Promoting Piqua, the creator and main organizer of the local chapter.
Applications for a $1,000 Awesome Piqua grant can be made by individuals, groups or non-profit organizations. Grant recipients do not need to be approved charitable 501(c))(3) organizations. Applications can be made by visiting www.awesomepiqua.org and clicking on the “Apply Here” link at the top of the page.
Generally, every month the Awesome Piqua trustees will review the grant applications received, discuss the “awesomeness” of each new idea and choose the winning idea, no strings attached.
If your grant application is selected, you’ll receive $1,000 to implement the idea. Anyone with a truly “awesome” idea can get some support to take their initiative to the next level with some assistance from the Awesome Piqua organization.
Information on the organization can also be found at www.facebook.com/awesomepiqua.