Finding The Good: A book and a bite to eat

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 11:36 PM EDT
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Endicott (WBNG) -- You may have seen little free libraries popping up around the Southern Tier in recent years. But one of them is now even letting people get a bite to eat while they grab a book.

Union-Endicott 10th grader Madison Burton says her idea for this project started with one thing...

“My obsession with reading,” Madison Burton, 10th Grader at U-E “And going around to other communities and the other little free libraries and the ability to just walk out of my front door and get new books. And get rid of them.”

So last year, she created a little free library on Endicott’s northside as a way to share her passion with others. But it was actually the kind actions of a stranger that gave her the idea to make it into more than just a library.

“Well the doors actually broke, I took all the books out, it was empty for months during the winter. We came by one day and there was peanut butter and pasta in there. And we were like ‘huh, good idea!’ and then I went online and asked for more food donations, and it kind of just grew from there.”

With activity really picking up in recent months!

“A lot of people are coming to donate and a lot of people are coming to take. I’ve noticed more people coming to donate and that’s why I want to get the word out so more people know it’s here if they’re in need.”

She says it feels great to see it being used so often and the local reaction to the project has even surprised Madison.

“How much the community is willing to give. Not just food donations but I’ve had people come and plant seeds so there will be flowers here. We’ve had people come to paint the cabinet and someone offered to fix the doors. So it’s not just the donations that we received food-wise or book-wise, it’s just really brought everyone together.”

A simple idea -- that only continues to grow.

“She does a lot,” explained Madison’s grandmother “She likes to help out and she cares about people. She cares about what happens to them.”

If you want to use or donate to Madison’s cabinet, it’s located on the 400 block of Odell Avenue in Endicott near the intersection with Roberts Street.

To get involved with donations and see where other little free libraries are around the Southern Tier, you can check out the Feeding Broome Facebook page.

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