Allison is one of the very first volunteers to be a part of My Little Library. Her enthusiasm, creativity and ability to connect with any child's interests and personality make her a huge asset to the program. For that reason, she is the first person to be featured in our new Supporter Spotlight, that will recognize the individuals who make up our wonderful and varied supporter base. It also allows volunteers, donors, board members and others to say in their own words what they enjoy about helping Faces without Places break down barriers to education for children experiencing homelessness. And with no further ado, here is what Allison had to say about her experience so far reading with kids at Bethany House Services, a homeless shelter on the Westside.
"My name is Allison Smith. I’m 25 years old and I’m originally from Oxford, OH—about an hour north of Cincinnati and the home of Miami University. In Oxford, I had been active in a few local causes ranging from volunteering at a food pantry to philanthropy projects associated with my sorority. When I moved to Cincinnati, however, I had trouble finding a service project that fit my schedule and aligned with one of my passions. After sending a few applications around, I was asked for an interview with Megan to talk about The Little Library. That weekend, Megan and I met over a cup of coffee and I knew I had found a great way to give back to my new community.
The Little Library is a fantastic opportunity for children to develop a love of reading and writing. Last week, the group of kids was so full of energy! I had my doubts whether or not we could get any of them to actually sit down and listen to a book. However, one little boy kept running into the reading room and running back out. I knew he had to be curious, so I tried to capitalize on his interest. I opened up a Batman book and acted like every page had something absolutely amazing on it. Soon enough, he was sitting next to me with wide eyes, anticipating what might happen next to Batman. At one point, he told me I had to read the whole book to him. That experience was such a gift—I felt like I had genuinely piqued his interest in reading!
I’m excited to see what The Little Library will do in the future. I understand that there are plans to expand the program and I couldn’t be more thrilled. A big thank you to Megan and Faces Without Places for extending this incredible opportunity!"
We look forward to seeing the rest of Allison's journey with Faces without Places and feel very luck to have her as a positive role model and friend for the children we serve.