Noblesville resident turns little free library into pantry for those struggling to find food

Pay it Forward

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — Every Monday morning, we will continue to bring you Pay it Forward stories highlighting all the good happening here in central Indiana.

Last week though, our lives looked very different.

Since the coronavirus pandemic altered the way we live our lives, we have so many of you showing kindness to family, friends, and even strangers.

That includes one family in Noblesville.

“I was like, ‘Let’s just put some stuff out there, we have some extras and we’ll see what happens,'” Valerie Keinsley said.

Toilet paper, peanut butter, oatmeal and so much more have replaced the shelves of books that used to be in this little free library on Cherry Street.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. So many people saying, ‘This is so great,’” Keinsley said.

Many people like Satora Shinbur are stopping by to pick up an item or two after leaving the grocery store with no luck.

“Milk was hard to find, so thought we could come here and see what we could get for breakfast for the kids,” Shinbur said.

It’s a small way to serve and inspire others to do the same.

“We’re seeing lots of images of empty store shelves and people hoarding. But there’s another story going on too, which is people really are helping each other out. They’re helping their neighbors, they’re doing what they can, and I hope that’s what people takeaway,” Keinsley said.

There is a bin on the family’s porch if you want to drop off items. Keinsley first sanitized them before she puts them in the pantry.

She says she plans on leaving it a little free pantry for as long as it is needed.

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