The library is for much more than books in High Springs. Thursday, it held the Heal Vets Craft Program for the second time since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program provides a safe space for Alachua County veterans to gather and share their experiences. Participants receive therapeutic kits that allow them to build crafts such as birdhouses, jewelry, wooden clocks and leather footballs.
The kits include a thank-you card for donors, which gives veterans the opportunity to reach out and share how the project helped them.
Rupert Danyow, an Air Force Vietnam veteran, enjoys participating in the program. He says the activities help him continue to cope with life after the war.
“Well, I come out here to be with other veterans and talk with them. And when I get a little stressed out I work on my kits that I can take home from the library here, which help me out,” he said.
David Fuller, the Alachua County Library District’s High Springs branch manager, said that is the goal.
“It’s touching. And it kind of tugs at your heartstrings a lot, because you see the love and the community that they have for the veterans, and so forth. Veterans are really respected here,” he said.
The library also partners with the women’s club to host luncheons for veterans in addition to the monthly craft coping sessions.