Kits provide comfort, distraction, and enrichment

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles City Library and Recreation Services divisions are pleased to partner with local agencies in providing Comfort Kits to children and families struggling with such situations as homelessness, trauma, or crisis. To date, over 80 kits have been distributed to ECHO, the Paso Robles Fire Department, and the Paso Robles Police Department.

According to Youth Services Librarian Melissa Bailey, the idea for these kits began with the Library’s goal to increase community outreach and a timely offer from ASB President Malia Gaviola to donate extra books from a recent high school book drive. Reaching out to ECHO first with the idea of supplying bags of books with some supplies for children entering the shelter, Bailey set about selecting items that would offer children and teens comfort, distraction, and enrichment in both the short-term and over time. Initially funded by the Paso Robles Library Foundation, the initiative was expanded to include support from the Friends of the Library and the Recreation Foundation with a goal of providing comfort to youth in critical situations while providing access to library and recreation resources. The Comfort Kits include drawstring backpacks, journals and pens, coloring books and crayons, stress relief and fidget toys, teddy bears and the books provided by the school. Meeting in the Library on March 14, Gaviola and her team of teens built over 200 kits in less than one hour.

“When Malia reached out to us with this incredible book donation, collected by the students of PRJUSD, we wanted to find a way to really put those books to good use. We pitched it to some of our partners and they were more than happy to join in. We now have over 200 Comfort Kits to distribute,” Bailey stated, adding, “We encourage non-profits in Paso Robles that work with children and teens in crisis to contact us, so we can make sure that these kits get to the children that need them.”

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

Bailey can be reached at mbailey@prcity.com or by calling the Library, (805) 237-3870.

The Library is open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Curbside service is available during open hours. Call the Library at (805) 237-3870 or visit prcity.com/library and social media for more information.