Hailey Radvillas reached out to me after seeing my artwork on a couple Little Free Libraries around Colorado Springs to paint the Pikes Peak Little Free Pantry she started. Her son choose the color palette that was inspired by his favorite book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. If you haven't read the book before the book is about the different roles of sharing, happiness and beauty which fit the pantry's purpose in the Pikes Peak Community.
Here are a few questions I asked Hailey to learn more about her initiative with the Pikes Peak Little Free Pantry:
1. What inspired you to start the Pikes Peak Little Free Pantry?
Watching how hard COVID-19 hit our country and how few safety nets exist for our friends and neighbors who have fallen on hard times, I wanted to do something to help. The virus made it hard to volunteer, but I became inspired by the community fridges in Denver (https://www.denvercommunityfridge.com/) and Chicago (https://www.thelovefridge.com/), and while we couldn't immediately put up a full fridge (maybe in the future!), we grabbed a $6 plastic drawer from the Arc, wrote "Little Free Pantry" on it with Sharpie, and filled it with food and toiletries
How long have you been doing the pantry?
We put up the plastic pantry in late January, so it's been just about two and a half months
What was your neighborhood's reaction when you began the pantry?
The reaction from the neighborhood has been super positive. We've had donations and words of encouragement and thanks. It's also helped us connect with others in our community who have helped spread the word beyond the Westside and supply donations.
What impact do you think your initiative will have for Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs?
My hope is that our little free pantry will inspire others. Whether that's setting up their own little free pantry on their property, getting local businesses involved, or just donating more of their time and money to those in the community who could use a little help. Ultimately, I hope the idea of mutual aid and mutual care will spread like wildfire and more people will start to see all of their neighbors, housed and unhoused, as real people deserving of food, water, and shelter. We are stronger together!
Stay connected with Pikes Peak Free Little Pantry