Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Clicking for Kibble

There's a young lady in Oregon who has fed a lot of hungry cats and dogs. Not by taking them food, but rather by using the power of the Internet to stock the shelves of shelters across the country with almost 110 TONS of cat and dog kibble.

Mimi Ausland is a seventh grader who believes in making a difference in the lives of shelter animals. Inspired by a website that donates rice to needy countries, she and her parents came up with FreeKibble.com and, coming in June, FreeKibbleKat.com. Every day you can go to the site, answer a trivia question about dogs or cats, and whether you get it right or wrong, they donate 10 pieces of kibble to one of 13 shelters in the US.  As of today, 319,821,200 pieces have been donated!

I learned about Mimi through an article in Cat Fancy magazine - read it here: Cat Fancy article about FreeKibble. I love the end of the article where Mimi is quoted: 
"Just do whatever you can do, whether it's doing a lemonade stand or setting up a site like this," she says. "Just get out there and help something or someone. Try your best to help."

So every day I'm going to FreeKibble.com and answering their question. I got today's wrong, but so what? The cats and dogs still get the kibble, and I'm telling other people about it.

If a seventh grader can make a difference, so can I. So this weekend I'll be searching for odds and ends of acrylic yarn so I can knit "snuggles" for cat shelters - if you haven't heard about the Snuggles Project, learn more here.  Kira and Pipsqueak will help, I'm sure.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Do Libraries Sell Houses?

What do I mean by "Do libraries sell houses?" Sure, local libraries are pinched for funding, but they're not going into the real estate business. No, I'm talking about all the considerations that add up to a sale.

This is an article I posted on the Active Rain site (for real estate professionals), but I think anyone who is selling, buying, or thinking about moving could add "Library Nearby" to their wish list for a home.

There's no single factor that will make a buyer decide that the house you have listed is THE perfect house. But after you get past price and location, there are many things that can tip the scales in favor of one house over another. Curb appeal is important of course, cleanliness and maintenance are too. But a major factor can also be the community that surrounds the house and what it has to offer.
Adults in library at table Children in library story time
Public libraries are always popular for families as they offer great resources and stacks filled with books on every subject imaginable. These days, they also include videos and music CDs along with computers, book clubs, author talks, and story times for the little folks. If a public library is in easy distance of a home for sale, that can be a feature of value to a buyer.
National Library Week banner
This is a great time to highlight libraries in your community. April 11 through 17 is National Library Week sponsored by The American Library Association. This year's theme is "Communities thrive@ your library" and local libraries will be celebrating with special programs and exhibits. One of my favorite events of the week is the release of the annual "Top 10 Most Challenged Books" list - these are the books that most often are subject to attempts to have them censored, banned, or removed from library shelves in violation of the First Amendment.
Communities Thrive banner
I don't know if libraries really do sell houses. But I do know that libraries and librarians are an important part of every community. This is the week to celebrate them and the role they play in making any community a better place to live.