Integrate for Good had a wonderful opportunity to present at a Southeastern PA Library Association in-service last year. Nicole Husbands, a librarian from Indian Valley Public Library shared on a panel following our presentation, and we immediately knew we wanted to work with her. In her role as a librarian, Nicole is committed to making her library a place where people of all abilities can gather, learn, and engage in meaningful activities. Since launching our collaboration back in September, we have built an incredible community of people of all ages and abilities who gather every Thursday morning to engage in all aspects of the Sleeping Mat Project. Nicole generously gives of the library’s community room space, and even lobbied to get us coveted space for our looms, bags and balls of plarn in the library’s storage closet!

Bev Weinberg with two people, each holding an Integrate for Good Community Heroes award plaque.

Nicole has worked to build bridges for our project with local high schools, honor societies, a school-based environmental club and a network of home-schooling families. Bev shared about Nicole’s commitment during our Integrate for Good Community Heroes Celebration, “During a day where I was feeling especially discouraged about our ability to keep Integrate for Good going, I received an email from Nicole asking if I wanted to co-present with her at a conference in 2020! Not only was I super excited to hear that the state-wide library conference will be at an indoor water park (how cool is that??), I was even more excited to know that she believed in this work enough to make plans that far down the road. Her confidence boosted my own and energized me to envision long-term success.”

Along with Nicole, we recognize Madison Hahn, our youngest volunteer who returns week after week to support our work at the Indian Valley Public Library. Madison is creative, full of positivity, an incredible role model for other children, and adults too, and only nine years old! She is skilled in all steps of the Sleeping Mat Project and just as talented in teaching others (of all ages and abilities) how to join in. When I asked Madison’s mom Kathie for permission to recognize her, she replied, “Yes…she has inspired me to get involved in the community beyond what I would have done myself!” Madison inspires all of us to imagine what our world would be like if everyone was as welcoming and friendly as Madison.

We are honored to recognize Nicole Husbands, Madison Hahn and the Indian Valley Public Library with a 2019 Integrate for Good Community Hero Award.