Being part of a community means understanding the needs and interests of that community and serving as a resource where you are able to. The members and staff have worked hard to position Bethel at the intersection of those needs and interests. Below are just a few of the ways we are providing resources within our neighborhood.
Bethel's Little Free Pantry
One of the most meaningful ways our members and neighbors have helped to make a difference right here in South Minneapolis is through our Little Free Pantry (LFP). We know that food availability/affordability can be a challenge. Bethel created the Little Free Pantry as a place to both get some of what you may need and to GIVE and HELP others.
ALL ITEMS ARE FREE and available to anyone who needs them. Simply come to Bethel’s 17th Avenue entrance and help yourself to whatever is here, as it fits your needs.
HELP US KEEP THE LFP STOCKED. If you are able, we encourage donations of nonperishable food items and toiletry goods. Perhaps when you are doing your shopping, you can even double-up on some of the items in your cart, as your own budget allows.
Our Little Free Pantry serves an indeterminate number of people, but the volume of goods coming and going has increased substantially over time, bringing us delight that we are providing something that the neighborhood truly needs.
Bethel's Little Free Library
Literacy is such an important part of society, and access to written materials can be particularly challenging for some folks. This can be because of a lack of access to transportation, personal mobility, age, or social circumstances. The reality is, the reasons are too many to count but we can all do our part to share our books right here within our own community. The act of sharing a book you've finished might be the thing to help someone else stay mentally sharp and engaged. It could be the entertainment they crave, the escape they imagine, or the education they desire to expand their mind.
We encourage you to open yourself up to sharing your books and to utilize Bethel's Little Free Library as a place to drop off or pick up something new.
Bethel’s Little Free Library is a registered member of the non-profit Little Free Library, based in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s website states: “Our mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries.”
The Little Free Library movement began in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2009. Todd Bol built a little box decorated to resemble a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher and book lover. He placed books inside, free for the taking. Little did he know he was launching a movement. Rick Brooks, an instructor at UW-Madison, recognized the potential of these book boxes to promote literacy and build community. Todd and Rick teamed up to build and distribute more boxes. People saw the little boxes and wanted one of their own. From this simple idea of “take a book, leave a book,” the movement has grown to a worldwide 125,000-plus libraries in over 100 countries!
For more information, including how to start your own Little Free Library: https://littlefreelibrary.org/
The Bethel Little Free Library is designed to resemble the church. It was built by Bethel member Gene Rodi in 2012. Please feel welcome to find a book and perhaps sit on the bench nearby and stay for a while.
Bethel's Bike Repair Station
Enjoying a bike ride on the 17th Avenue Bike Boulevard? Or, perhaps you live in the neighborhood. Maybe a neighborhood kid needs a little help with their bike. For anyone who isn't already aware, the 17th Avenue side of Bethel's property is designated a bike thoroughfare that runs north to the Midtown Greenway and south to Minnehaha Parkway and the creek. This is part of a much larger network of trails and alternative transit priority routes throughout the city of Minneapolis.
Because we are beyond eager to welcome visitors to our property, we added a bike tune-up station to our property a few years ago. If you need a quick fix for your bike, this is the place where you can get some help and some necessary tools. The Saris Deluxe Public Work Stand has all of the tools you need to make repairs and adjustments on your bike. The Work Stand includes all of these tools:
Deluxe Public Work Stand toolset
Phillips & standard screwdrivers
Steel core tire levers (2)
8/10mm cone wrench
9/11mm cone wrench
Hex key set
Plus a tire pump with a pressure gauge!
Not sure how to fix a bike problem? Scan the QR code on the stand for help and instruction videos. If you need parts, there are several bike shops in the neighborhood that sell tire patches, tubes, lubes, bells, helmets, etc.
Enjoy your bike ride! We are happy to share our love of the outdoors and to invest in greener modes of getting around.