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Oct 28, 2021

Passion project for two local students turns into community library at local hospital

Orangeville District Secondary School (ODSS) students Trinity Allen and Victoria Swanson’s passion project has resulted in an upcycled multi-coloured community library at Headwaters Health Care Centre.

“I am so grateful to have been given this leadership opportunity and am excited to see the lasting impact it will create,” said Victoria Swanson. Her friend and project co-lead, Trinity Allen added, “Believing in ourselves and this project has given us purpose. We aspire to give people the chance to share books that they have enjoyed and read books that have brought joy to others. I look forward to knowing so many stories will be shared, adventures will be taken, and imaginations will be nourished!”

The students contacted the hospital as part of their Believe Leadership Course. Made from recycled shipping pallets, found objects and paint from their family’s workshops, the teens were able to keep costs down and environmental impact to a minimum.

"The Booksmart Bears initiative is a perfect example of using one’s passions to help solve a problem. Trinity and Victoria leveraged their love for books and woodworking and turned it into an initiative that will increase accessibility to books and also help give books a second life! It’s wonderful to see young people take action and have a tangible impact in their communities. The ripple effect of projects like this can impact hundreds, if not thousands!" Sarah Wells, Olympian & Founder of the Believe Initiative.

The colorful library is perched on the corner of one area of the Friendship Gardens near the hospital’s Main Entrance.

“We are pleased to support this passion project as we know how important it is for people to have something to read while they are at our hospital or are visiting our Friendship Gardens,” said Kim Delahunt, President & CEO, Headwaters Health Care Centre. “The fact that the library is made from upcycled materials and will be filled with donated books makes it an even more meaningful project.” 

Taking books from the community library is just like borrowing from a local library. People can take a book and are encouraged to either leave a new book in its place or return the book when they are finished reading.     
About the Believe Leadership Course
The Believe Leadership Course is a student-run extracurricular program with the Believe Initiative, started by Sarah Wells, a Canadian Olympic hurdler and Pam AM Silver Medalist. The program teaches leadership, mental health and wellness skills and entrepreneurship to high school students. The course culminates with students presenting their projects at a Chapter Inspiration Fair.

Photo Caption: (Left to Right) Victoria Swanson, Trinity Allen and Kim Delahunt, President & CEO, Headwaters Health Care Centre near the new community library.