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Support our troops, show your gratitude at the library

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This is the time of year when one holiday hardly has the chance to arrive before the next one shows up everywhere. Halloween candy is still on the shelves, soon to be joined by turkeys and, before long, Santa Claus. It is easy to become lost in the sea of cooking, card-writing and credit card spending that seem to go hand-in-hand with the holiday season. Along with the usual hustle and bustle that we all expect this time of year, Delta County Libraries is offering some unique alternatives for participating in the season of giving.

Delta Library, in partnership with the Lee Marts VFW Post 3571, will be running a month-long donation drive in November to gather, package and ship items to active duty troops overseas. This joint project, called Operation Troop Bounty, will provide the community with an easy, effective way to show support for our military men and women. Donations of travel-size toiletries, individual, non-perishable food items, books and more will be collected at the Delta Library during November.

Delta staff member Bonnie Bishop is happy that the Delta Library is involved in this project. "For me personally, I am very excited to help our troops overseas because of the sacrifice they are making for our freedom. I have been privileged to have multiple family members that have served, or are serving now. My nephew that is in the Air Force has been deployed twice, and I know that items from home mean a lot to him," Bishop says.

A less conventional way of showing gratitude will be offered during the month of November at the Hotchkiss Library. "The Gratitude Graffiti Project is an opportunity to anonymously share your gratitude in a public setting," Sarah Pope, teen librarian at Hotchkiss Library, states. The project was started by Lucila McElroy and Candice Davenport of Maplewood, N.J. According to their website, thegratitude

graffitiproject.com, the project is "based on a simple concept, supported by positive psychology research and literature that one of the most important steps to wellness and happiness is to assume a daily practice of gratitude."

Pope brought the project to the Hotchkiss Library in 2015 and was very happy with the results. "Last year, I was amazed by the profound words of local patrons expressing their gratitude. As the days shorten and the weather cools, there is nothing more heartwarming than a wall full of thanks," Pope says. Patrons are asked a simple question: "What are you grateful for?" The multitude of answers that this question inspires are captured on "the wall" and as it grows, so does the message of gratitude being communicated to those who pass by.

For more information about Operation Troop Bounty, call the Delta Library at 874-9630. And, there are other ways to get involved and show your thanks by participating in one of the programs being offered at Delta County Libraries this month. From magnet-making and knitting to scrapbooking and turkey-themed crafts, there is something being offered at every library for every age group. For a complete calendar of events visit www.delta

libraries.org/calendar/.

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