Friday, March 30, 2012


Natchez is such a great community! We asked for help and are overwhelmed by the response. Let me tell you about it.

As everybody is well aware, the exterior of our Library is in deplorable shape and has been for quite some time. The shutters need to be repaired or replaced, and painted. The brick is in good shape, but all the wood needs to be repaired and painted. The windows and doors are also in poor condition. The Mississippi Library Association is coming to town in October, as they did in 2004 and 2008. How embarrassing it will be for them to see our poor Library still not painted!

The building belongs to the City of Natchez, who is responsible for its maintenance. Unfortunately, the City has no plans to perform the needed repairs. However, the Friends of the Library are riding to the rescue! They have developed a fundraising drive to pay for the restoration of the exterior of your Library. Since it will be a costly project, there are three parts to the drive.
1. The Friends are asking the people of the community to Adopt a Needy SHUTTER. We guessed that it will cost an average of $100 to restore a shutter, and we have 44. There is a mockup in the lobby of the Library showing who has adopted shutters. The donors' names will be inscribed on the shutters they adopted. So if you adopt a shutter, then years from now you can show your grandchildren which shutter was yours.

2. If adopting a shutter is too much for your budget, then you may want to Buy Your Library a Can of PAINT by donating $25. We're hoping to raise $1000 to buy 40 gallons of paint. Also in the Library's lobby is a poster showing our progress toward our goal.

3. Finally, there will be a special fundraising event later in the year. More details to come.

Because of restrictions in the Mississippi code, the Library itself cannot pay for capital improvements, so the City of Natchez must arrange for the work to be done - and the Friends of the Library will just pay the bill. The City has still not given us an estimate on the cost of the work. Based on an estimate we received about four years ago, we're guessing between $25,000 and $30,000 - or more! It sounds like a lot, but the building is in really bad shape.

Obviously, the amount raised through adopting shutters and buying paint ($5400) is only the beginning, and we were hoping to get the rest through our special event. However, someone is really looking out for us!!!

First,  an anonymous local donor has issued a challenge to us. If we can raise $15,000, he will match it with another $15,000. How awesome! Then the Krewe of Fat Mama's, which raises funds for a specific project each year, decided that fixing the exterior of the Library is their project for this year. They are partnering with the Friends to raise at least the $15,000.

We announced our fundraising drive about a week ago, and we have already sold all the shutters! The response from the community has been overwhelming. But we can't turn away the people who keep coming in with money to adopt shutters! So we're adopting a "co-parenting" scheme. Providing the original adoptive parents don't object, we're going to allow each shutter to have two adopters. And of course, we can take donations for paint indefinitely. Together, we can do this!

The staff of the Library, the Board of Trustees, and the Friends of the Library all want to say thank you to this community - you are truly wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. To see a list of donors: