“I’ve always loved reading, and that passion came back to me in Brazil. I’m a true book lover, my children are book lovers, and I feel that we need to find every possible way as a community to provide children of all ages with the opportunity to involve books and reading in their lives.”-Debbie
The Free Book Buggie is the brainchild of Debbie Beck, and was meticulously constructed by its Founding Team. On a trip to Brazil with her daughter, Debbie found the inspiration for The Buggie as she was traveling along the southern coast.
Stopping in a small, colonial town just outside of Rio, she noticed a multicolored van that was filled with books, and its owner sitting on a chair beside a table full of books. Seeing the attention the van received, especially from children, Debbie realized her desire to bring that same excitement of reading back home to Minnesota.
Along with her co-founder, Sue Fredricks, and the generous help of volunteers, Debbie and the Buggie travel around the Twin Cities giving free books to children of all ages and promoting literacy.
As a local MN nonprofit, our team is dedicated to providing ALL children access to free age- appropriate books to have in their homes. Since June 2018, and in collaboration with over 90 community groups and organizations, TFBB has distributed almost 100,000 books and impacted the lives of thousands of children in the Twin Cities area.
“Yesterday the book buggie was at the Metro State Produce Distribution run by Neighborhood House. After it was over I went back inside to grab the last three boxes of books. There was a woman going through it and grabbing books for her friend who has three young children and no books in the house. She said it would be the start of their library! She probably grabbed about 20-30 books. I thought it was sweet.”
“The Free Book Buggie is a great partner with us at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center! Our children’s book shelves in the medical reception, dental clinic and human services building look much better since we received your books and I had 3 little kids come visit me as I was restocking today. They were so excited! We could easily go through 20 books a day because we encourage each child to take home a pre-school book with each visit to NorthPoint. Our goal is to get young children excited about reading before they start school. During the school break times, we are busier than ever and it is great to keep the young scholars interested in learning. Thank you!”
“Despite generous donations, our Little Free Library in downtown Minneapolis was running short of books for kids. A very welcome donation from The Free Book Buggie has allowed us to continue serving our high-need area, which includes a homeless shelter. The joy of a toddler showing off her new book, the intensity of a preteen discussing his favorite authors, the quiet contemplation of a teen reading a classic, and the grateful thanks of parents will continue because of The Free Book Buggie.”
St. Paul-Ramsey CO. – Public Health – Family Health Division – Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
“Thank you to the Free Book Buggie for donating books to the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. By giving your books to children with lead poisoning, I hope to foster a love for reading and contribute to a supportive home environment that positively influences the child’s development. When I pull a book out of my bag and give it to a child, they reach for it right away!”
Bloomington Covenant Church, The Clothes Closet, Bloomington, MN
“We were grateful to partner with The Free Book Buggie on Sept 29th. They set up tables in our guest waiting area with the books laid out and beautifully organized. What a fun surprise for our kids to be able to pick out books for free! For most of the families we serve, toys and books are extras that don’t fit in their budgets. Having books available to them made the kids feel special. Deb, Sue & Crew were so enthusiastic about helping kids pick out their favorite books. They came in and did their own set up and tear down without needing any assistance. They weren’t able to join us at our October opening which was disappointing for the kids. We look forward to having them join us in the future.”
“I can’t get over these kids at Stories Together! More are coming and all of them love it! My last Tuesday morning I only had 2 kids, this time 9! They really enjoyed getting free books and playing with the toys!! Kept asking when we were coming back and why were not coming back tomorrow”
“When The Free Book Buggie arrived, with their endless buckets of books, we were all buzzing with excitement! The books were well-organized, and labeled, by age making it easy for families to find the appropriate books for their child. Not only were they efficient in their set-up and clean up, but their level of excitement to give out free books matched that of the children and families that visited the museum that night. We are excited to continue this partnership with The Free Book Buggie and hope to see them at many of our future Family Events.”
Gethsemane Lutheran Church and School, Maplewood, MN
“Gethsemane Lutheran Church and School, located in Maplewood MN, was fortunate to hear about The Free Book Buggie from a guest at our Loaves and Fishes Community Meal that we host. We reached out to this organization and invited them to attend an event taking place at our Christian School in October, 2018. The Free Book Buggie agreed to come, and were a great addition to our event. They came with several employees, who were very friendly and engaging with our families. They came with MANY books all organized and displayed nicely for our families to look through. We have already invited them to more events at Gethsemane, and plan to invite them to many more. We are thankful for being introduced to this wonderful organization and look forward to working with them again very soon.”
What We Do
The Free Book Buggie travels around the Twin Cities providing free books to children ages birth to teenagers. Our collection of books provides something for children of all ages and cultural backgrounds. We work with local partners and programs to ensure that family focused agencies are able to provide books for their children on behalf of The Free Book Buggie. Check out some of the services we provide below!
Contribute books to Little Free Libraries
Engage in community events with other family focused organizations
Supply books to local laundromats in the Twin Cities area
Donate oodles of books to local community-based organizations and agencies
Provide reading Buggie buddies to schools and organizations on request
Need a reading Buggie buddy for your organization or event?
The Free Book Buggie Partners with Community Leaders to Provide Free Books to Children
In September of 2019, we partnered with a few local laundromats in the Twin Cities to provide free books to children who otherwise might not have access at home. Owner of Metro Coin Laundry, Deb Machacek said,
“My husband and I are thrilled to be partnered with The Book Buggie! Three of our five laundromats have a play room area for young people but all five stores have a shelf with books from The Book Buggie. Promoting literacy is so very important and we love having books available for all our customers young and old! Having the books available is great but allowing our customers to take a book they find interesting home with them is the icing on the cake! Because these books are donated by various means, we provide them for our customers to enjoy while at the store or continue reading once they return home. Our customers love having something for the kids to do while using the laundromat but we find adult customers reading them too! Great way to pass the time! Thank you Book Buggie for providing books to our stores and we look forward to filling our boxes soon to continue getting books into everyone’s hands!”
Check out some photos from the laundromat partnership!
Click here to find out when the Buggie will be in your neighborhood!
Want to get involved with The Free Book Buggie? Click here to find out more!
Minnesota Local Nonprofit News
In late December, 2019, amongst the holiday hustle and bustle, tragedy hit Minneapolis hard as a result of a fire in the Drake Hotel. More than 250 people, including children, were displaced and without a place to stay. Among nonprofits giving back, The Free Book Buggie loaded up and headed out to cheer up the children and families affected by the fire by giving out free books. Take a look at the video below:
More Nonprofit News!
In August of 2019, The Free Book Buggie was honored to partner with the Little Free Library to provide books to children around the Twin Cities. Thanks to Jon Cox, a Metro State intern, he was able to capture the greatness of this day. When asked about the event, Jon said:
“Through my eyes, the ‘Little Free Library Project’ has miraculously encouraged the magic of literacy and imagination, while bringing people together from all walks of life. This project has brilliantly opened minds and hearts, as well as created bonds between communities, among individuals of all ages. Thank you to everyone who helped pull this profoundly empowering project together.”