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Colorful Book Spines

Compassion Through Literature 

Increasing inclusion and understanding with free books available in public stands across the Portland metro region



Book Giveaways, Cake, and Speakers at PC! PDX Celebration of Neighbors Helping Neighbors


October 31, 2022, Portland, OR—Positive Charge! PDX (PC! PDX), a nonprofit organization that strives to amplify kindness and build community, recently announced a special event featuring speakers, book giveaways, cake, and more on November 5 to celebrate 11 new installations of Little Free Libraries throughout the Portland metro area.


The new Little Free Libraries, and 2,200 books to stock them, were donated toward PC! PDX’s Compassion Through Literature project by the international Little Free Library nonprofit organization and its Read in Color initiative, which distributes books that provide diverse perspectives and incorporate experiences from all identities for all readers. This partnership adds to the program's 200 diverse little libraries and puts Portland on the map as the 13th city worldwide to bring Read in Color into the community.


“Compassion Through Literature began with a simple idea: To encourage people to take a walk in someone else’s shoes, by sharing and reading diverse books in little lending libraries,” said Sallie Cohen of Positive Charge! PDX. “Our goal is to open hearts and increase understanding, compassion, and tolerance for each other."


“One morning I heard the information that communities all over the country were banning books, something I didn’t think was possible in this country,” said Bonnie Berg of Positive Charge! PDX. “We decided that we would start locally and promote books on diversity to help heal the divisions that continue to grow.” 


The Compassion Through Literature launch event will be held starting at 3 pm on Nov. 5 at Leikam Brewing (5812 E Burnside St)—the site of one of the new libraries. Leikam Brewing is a family-owned, family-friendly business that uses locally sourced ingredients and donates a portion of its profits to community charitable organizations. 


Speakers will include Valarie Pearce, author, educator, and literacy activist who works as a WITS (Writers in the Schools) Teacher for Literary Arts; Sister Shiso Panda, a fully professed member of The Portland Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Order of Benevolent Bliss; and Stephen Green, COO of A Kids Company About.


Rebecca Swindle, PhD, PFLAG Newberg, one of the new Little Free Library stewards, said, “Newberg youth deserve to be celebrated for their unique and colorful backgrounds, attributes, and qualities. We are so grateful to be chosen as recipients for CTL/Read in Color libraries and can’t wait to share diverse literature with our residents of all ages. We will continue to fight for equity and inclusion in Newberg, and we know that diverse books can be vital tools in helping young people feel connection, support, and pride."


Members of the international Little Free Library organization will be in attendance at the event, supporting the initiative.

“We are proud to work alongside such a community-centered organization like Positive Charge! PDX to improve book access and build community through the sharing of diverse books in Little Free Libraries,” said LFL Director of Programs Shelby King. “It is our hope that, through these new libraries, books that provide perspectives on racism and social justice; celebrate BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other important voices; and incorporate experiences from all identities for all readers will make their way into the hands and homes of people all over the city.” 


Positive Charge! PDX is a 100%-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, open to everyone, with a mission to make a positive impact on a collective scale by doing good deeds, sharing good news, and building community. Founded in 2016, PC! PDX operates under the belief that it takes community to heal a community. The politically and religiously neutral organization tackles a range of issues including homelessness, natural disaster assistance, and food insecurity—neighbors making a difference together.

Facebook:; Instagram: @PositiveChargePDX  



Little Free Library® (LFL) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds community, inspires readers, and expands book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries. There are more than 150,000 registered Little Free Library book-sharing boxes worldwide in all 50 states, 115 countries, and seven continents. Through them, over 250 million books have been shared since 2009. LFL received the 2020 World Literacy Award as well as honors from the Library of Congress, National Book Foundation, and others. The organization grants Little Free Libraries full of books to underserved areas through its Impact Library Program and champions diverse books through its Read in Color initiative. To learn more, visit


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