On October 24, 2023, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey’s (SCLSNJ) Watchung branch – in partnership with local business Bobey Lou – organized a letter writing and cookie donation event to benefit the Watchung Fire Department.

Children created cards, colored fire engine bookmarks, and wrote letters. Additionally, each child received a freshly made cookie from Bobey Lou. In thanks, the Fire Department provided the children with a tour of their truck and gave out red and pink fire hats.

“Letter writing for a cause started as a Teen Volunteer Night activity that grew into something more when the Watchung branch partnered with Bobey Lou,” said Katie Salerno, youth services librarian. “I wanted to find a way to give thanks and hope to those who provide selfless services to the community. The Library initially mailed letters to Operation Gratitude, a charity that sends letters to military and first responders, but bringing it locally to the Watchung community made it hit closer to home. Bobey Lou cookies only made this initiative more thoughtful. The children loved the cookies so much – they left no crumbs!”

“Bobey Lou was started in homage to my grandparents,” said Deidre Gerbing, owner of Bobey Lou. “I would send them weekly cookie packages and it brought them such joy that I decided to start selling goodies online and at weekly markets to make as many people smile as possible.”

The next Teen Volunteer Night – Letters for a Cause at the Watchung branch will be hosted on November 28 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Learn more or register: https://sclsnj.libnet.info/event/8436378.

Learn even more about community heroes. Check out these librarian-recommended books:

The Watchung branch is located at 12 Stirling Road in Watchung. To contact the Watchung branch, call (908) 458-8455 or email watchung@sclibnj.org. To discover all SCLSNJ has to offer, visit SCLSNJ.org or connect with SCLSNJ on FacebookX (formerly Twitter)Instagram, or YouTube.