West Bloomington Revitalization Project: "Cyber Space" at The Tool Library

YEP Members Taylor Lindsey (Left) and Kaylee Birlingmiar (Middle) meet at the Tool Library with Robert Bosquez (Right)

One of our 2014 grant cycle recipients is the Tool Library project "Cyber Space"  by the West Bloomington Revitalization Project. They received a grant for $600 from YEP and used the funds to purchase laptop software and networking equipment. The Tool Library's "Cyber Space" allows students to come in to work on homework and get assistance from volunteers and workers.

Recently, two YEP members, Taylor Lindsey and Kaylee Birlingmiar, had the chance to meet with the team and check out their progress! 

A fellow Youth Engaged in Philanthropy member, Kaylee Birlingmair, and I visited the Tool Library, of the West Bloomington Revitalization Project, a few weeks ago. Meeting with Mr. Robert Bosquez, the only part-time employee of the Library, and chatting with his fellow partners was an inspiring experience. Mr. Bosquez mentioned a question that comes up quite frequently is, “Well, why don’t you just charge to rent tools?” The answer to that question has always been no because Mr. Bosquez knows it is the right thing to do. He is such a perfect example of someone who cares for others with all of their heart. It doesn’t matter about the money, or worrying about whether they get a tool returned or not, it is about the impact they are making on the community. The Tool Library runs almost solely on volunteers. Mr. Bosquez, along with his two colleagues whom we met that night, all have full-time jobs elsewhere. Therefore, it is impossible for them to be operating the Library at all times. To run the store-front, there is a requirement of two people, for safety purposes. It has been hard for them to find volunteers, so although many YEP members cannot volunteer as they are not 18 years old, if YEP can spread the word to friends and family looking to serve that would benefit them immensely. Overall, this was an extremely eye-opening, educational experience, and I completely support what the Tool Library is pursuing in our community. 

- Taylor Lindsey

YEP is glad to have funded such a unique and impactful project that continues to thrive! 

Easter Seals: iCan Bike

YEP provided funding for 12 scholarships to a program that teaches children with special needs and disabilities, ages 8 and up, to achieve the life milestone of riding a two-wheel bicycle without assistance.  Volunteer “spotters” also included YEP members, who assisted youth as they used an adaptive bicycle for 75 minutes for five consecutive days.   

YEP Member Tanvi Singh

YEP Member Tanvi Singh

Tara Wellenreither, the iCan Bike program coordinator, stated the following:  “The YEP groups was a huge highlight to the week.  They were an awesome group of kids and really helped a lot of children learn to ride.  We couldn’t have done the camp without them.  They were tremendous and some of the kids even volunteered for different times than their friends.  It was awesome to see them giving back to their community and helping make a difference in the lives of our riders.”

YEP Member and volunteer spotter Megan Helms offered this comment:  “I know I speak for the other volunteers when I say the experience was truly extraordinary!”

The iCan Bike program coordinator shared that:  “Another family waited all week as their rider participated.  They were unsure whether or not she would have any success and were starting to think that maybe she wouldn’t ride on her own.  But, to their surprise, she launched independently on Friday [the last day of the program] and [her family was] on the sidelines with tears of joy as they watched their teenager with Down Syndrome discover the joy of riding independently.”

YEP Member Zach Hall

YEP Member Zach Hall