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The Bridge Community Pantry receives donation of 1,800 books

The Bridge Community Pantry Executive Director, John Leikness, helps Perham High School senior Audrey Swanson unload books she collected for the pantry. (Kim Brasel/FOCUS).1 / 3
The Bridge Community Pantry Executive Director, John Leikness, accepts a donation of 1,800 books collected by Perham High School senior Audrey Swanson. (Kim Brasel/FOCUS).2 / 3
The Bridge Community Pantry Executive Director, John Leikness accepts a donation of 1,800 books collected by Perham High School senior Audrey Swanson. (Kim Brasel/FOCUS).3 / 3

Perham High School senior Audrey Swanson saw a need at The Bridge Community Pantry in Perham and decided to help fill it. Only, it wasn't food she set out to collect. It was books—1,800 total books.

The Bridge has books for children to read while their parents are picking up food. Swanson's mom is on the board for the pantry and told her about the need for more kids books. For Swanson it wasn't a matter of "why" collect books, it was more a question of "why not?"

She set up bins at local schools and churches, and kids from the Boys and Girls Club decorated the boxes to make them more festive.

"The kids were really into it, it was great," Swanson said.

Being an avid reader when she was young, Swanson feels it's important for kids to have access to early reading. "I couldn't put a book a down," she said with a laugh. Her mom seconded that, adding she would often have to tell her to put the book down and get outside.

John Leikness, executive director of The Bridge, said he was thrilled to have the donation and thinks it's great when people see something that needs to be done and take the initiative to take care of it. "This community is really great that way," he added.

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