Nonprofits are everywhere. Wherever you are located, it's likely that there are numerous nonprofit organizations at work in your community that you've never even heard of. In 2009, the Hayward (Calif.) Public Library merged with another city department and took on the city's community grants program. They found that in this city of 150,000 there are over 2,000 nonprofit organizations!
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Health and Wellness
According to America Walks, “good health is not the only benefit of walking. In fact, there is a broad range of individual and community benefits that accrue when people walk more often and when communities are designed to make walking safe, enjoyable and convenient.” The benefits include safe neighborhoods, healthy communities, social equity, environmental sustainability and even improved economies.
The YMCA of the USA is “a leading nonprofit organization for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility” that includes approximately 2,700 local entities that together engage 21 million Americans. They are also the perfect partner for any public library interested in developing health and wellness programs.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 4,360 colleges and the universities in the United States. More likely than not, there is a college or university close to you — and partnering with them is a great way to bring high-quality health and wellness programming to your library.
Each year, one Sunday in late April is National ParkRX Day. This day celebrates the “the growing movement of prescribing parks and nature to patients to improve human health.” National ParkRX Day builds upon the U.S. Surgeon General’s call to promote walking and walkable communities. Americans need to move more, and parks are the perfect place for that.
Public health professionals focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and on protecting and improving the health of families and communities. Nearly every community in the U.S. has a local public health department or some other regional health agency. According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials, there are nearly 3,000 local health departments across the country.
Last month the Bellwood-Antis Public Library, located in a small town in central Pennsylvania, held its 12th annual Family Health and SafetyFair. Several hundred attendees turned out on a Saturday for a Run for Reading 5K, children's Zumba, a demonstration by local firefighters, health screenings and informational booths for health services like organ donation and kidney health.
After staff had an encounter with a possible sex trafficking victim, the San Diego Public Library took action and won a grant that funded the Out of the Shadows program.
Staff acknowledged that disseminating sex trafficking information to raise awareness was essential, as was joining forces with the community and experts to ensure the program’s success and effectiveness.
Since many older adult patrons can't make it to Coventry Public Library's in-house programs, we decided to offer both a senior fitness class and a chair yoga class at the Coventry Housing Authority, which is conveniently located near the senior living center. We run the classes twice a week for six weeks, and the seniors are always begging for more!