Whitman County Library is using a $10,000 grant from Innovia Foundation to create wellness kits for children, adults and seniors.
Teen innovations librarian Nichole Kopp said the library staff created kits containing coloring materials, word puzzles, stress balls and healthy recipe ideas, as well as mental health and library resources.
The library staff assembled 800 wellness kits that are currently available for curbside pickup at 102 S. Main St. in Colfax, or through delivery services offered by the Council on Aging and Human Services, she said.
“We are hearing that so many people are stressed and overwhelmed, and they don’t really think of the library as something that promotes wellness,” said library director Kylie Fullmer. “It’s something we can help with so people can have better mental wellbeing.”
The staff members assembling the kits are following COVID-19 guidelines, like wearing masks and gloves, Kopp said.
The wellness kits have been popular so far, especially among children, she said.
“We include a rock painting kit in the kids’ kits, and encourage them to leave a painted rock in their community to put a smile on someone’s face,” Kopp said.
Before the pandemic, the library planned to partner with the Council on Aging and Human Services, Palouse River Counseling and Whitman Hospital and Medical Center to create health-related programming for the community.
“We were hoping to have exercise classes and cooking classes and classes on mental health as well,” Kopp said.
Because of the pandemic, Kopp said the library staff decided to use the grant money to make wellness kits because they could not promote healthy living in person.
“We are really just trying to promote healthy living, and libraries can help and tie into that,” Fullmer said.