50% of all royalty proceeds from the sale of all I Love FOEL products at my Zazzle store will go to Friends of Elmhurst Branch Library to directly benefit the library. If you have a message or special artwork you'd like to use to get the message out, you can even customize your own from any of dozens of different products from t-shirts to bumper stickers, tennis shoes, skateboards, postage stamps, buttons, magnets, keychains, postcards and more.
Oakland Public Libraries need your help--particularly Elmhurst Branch which lies in the heart of East Oakland where poverty and crime are high. Many kids are the victims of substance abuse parents and many more are from single parent homes. To get ahead here often requires nothing short of miracles. Hope is often a four-letter word. The City of Oakland must cut the budget and libraries have become a major target. Libraries provide a safe haven for kids--particularly in East Oakland where Elmhurst is located.
Public schools here do not have libraries. They rely on the public library to assist kids in school. Library hours are being cut, staff reduced, new collections halted. These kids often cannot study at home as their family may be too poor to pay the electric bill so there are no lights to study under. Many kids are crack babies being raised by grandparents with limited resources and waning energies. Others have no privacy at home so to study means going to the library.
Computers with Internet access are not found in very many homes in East Oakland. Kids, and many adults, have to go to the public library for that. Our branch is the cornerstone of our community. It serves the elderly by providing a vital social network, access to materials they cannot afford on a fixed income, Internet access in a part of Oakland where poverty and illiteracy is high. It serves the underprivileged and unemployed with resources to build a resume, do a job search, prepare for special skills education to get a better job. In short, our branch library is the hub of our community. Without adequate library hours, this vulnerable neighborhood will put kids on the streets, seniors shut in, unemployeds and underemployeds with nowhere to turn for assistance.