The Story Behind the Jane's House Community Library

Ray Bell proudly standing beside the community library he crafted with love and dedication.

Ray with his libraryRay proudly stands beside the library he skillfully crafted with love and dedication.

Jane’s House Child Development Center has a new spark of joy, the Community Library. Imagine a small house, not much bigger than a dollhouse, brimming with stories waiting to be explored. This captures the essence of our Community Library – children can take books home and leave behind treasures for others to enjoy. It's a place where imagination takes flight and the love for learning thrives.

Two children reading books at the Community Library
Two young book enthusiasts are relishing the vibrant world of new stories unlocked by our Community Library.

The story behind our Community Library is as heartwarming as the books it houses. It all began with Ray Bell, an 83-year-old veteran and craftsman. Ray, who has strong familial ties to our Program Director, Tomi Barragan, embarked on a mission to build a library after a coincidental conversation with her. Inspired by Tomi's recount of her visit to Easterseals North Georgia and the charming community libraries she encountered there, Ray set out to create something amazing for Jane's House.

Tomi Barragan Amanda Van Vleet at Easterseals North Georgia
Program Directors, Tomi Barragan, of Jane’s House Child Development Center (left), and Amanda Van Vleet,of Growing Years Child Development Center (right), on their visit to Easterseals North Georgia.

Despite facing health challenges along the way, Ray poured his heart into the project, crafting every detail with love and care. When his strength waned, Tomi and her husband took up the mantle, ensuring Ray's vision came to fruition. The result? A beautiful testament to Ray's craftsmanship and his unwavering dedication to our community.

Rosa Mirelez, a cherished member of our Jane's House family, encapsulates the sentiment perfectly: "The new Community Library was a pleasant surprise! Our family will be utilizing the new library. This will bring new books into our home, and we look forward to sharing our books with friends at Jane’s House. I believe this will inspire sharing and learning. I think the Community Library is a wonderful example of how we can bring our community closer."

Lesley enjoying books
Lesley, daughter of Rosa Mirelez, shown captivated by a book in front of the cherished Community Library.

The Community Library embodies the essence of Easterseals Washington's mission – to change the way the world defines and views disabilities. By fostering inclusive spaces like our library, we champion equity, inclusion, and access for all. It's more than just a library; it's a testament to the transformative power of community and the boundless possibilities that emerge when we come together with open hearts and open minds.

Join us in creating more stories like the Community Library by becoming a monthly donor to Easterseals Washington. Together, let's unlock the magic of stories and continue building bridges, inspiring learning, and spreading joy – one book at a time.

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