When a Veteran at VA Central Iowa Health Care System asked if he could present a Little Free Library book exchange to the facility, staff members never expected the story behind that box would be just as charming as the stories and books it would hold.
Chris Tucker, a VA peer support specialist and Army Veteran, is passionate about helping his fellow Veterans work towards recovery. Part of that recovery is knowing how to communicate effectively, regarding health care and beyond. Working in the Therapeutic & Support Employment Services department, Tucker can be found building up Central Iowa Veterans and showing them the power of communication and recovery.
Tucker served as an Engineer Sergeant with two combat deployments. As a Veteran, he is the first to say he’s inspired by VA’s mission to care for those who have “borne the battle” and the dedication of his fellow staff members who demonstrate the VA core values – integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence.
After hearing about the Little Free Library movement, which aims to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free community-based book exchanges worldwide, Tucker knew a little library was the perfect addition for the Iowa facility. Tucker used an old military grenade box, which served as an excellent base as it was already the perfect size and shape. He also knew its meaning would strike a chord with fellow Veterans.
Tucker and his daughter then turned this case into a charming “book house” with a beautiful window, gable and even a picture of President Lincoln. Tucker notes that the project also provided bonding time with his daughter and reinforced her already deep love for learning and reading. Seeing the effect it had on her, Tucker knew it would have an impact on each Veteran who shared a book through this library.
The choice of books in VA’s Central Iowa Health Care system box are powerful – they have the ability to take area Veterans on adventures, teach new skills and share wisdom across generations.
So, the next time you see this or any other Little Free Library across the country, stop by and check out this charming community builder. Feel free to share your love of literacy and drop off a book or two and don’t forget to take a new title home with you.
About Little Free Library
A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community; Little Libraries have been called “mini-town squares.” Find out more at http://littlefreelibrary.org/
This article was provided by the VA Central Iowa Health Care System and originally appeared on their website.