Epics and mysteries galore – books at nonprofits, ocean festival, recycling volunteers


The 2023 Timberland Regional Library Summer Library Program has started and runs from June 1 to August 31. This annual program is for everyone (no matter their age) to enrich their summer with reading, exploring, creating, and learning. Participants (young and old) are invited to visit any of the 29 locations to sign up and receive a free book and an activity log. However, you are not limited to reading just library books. Want to pick up a few books to keep? Then I have got a deal for you!

Support Local Nonprofits – Buy a Book!

The first annual Summer UU Reading Fun (SUURF) Used Book Sale will take place online from June 13 to 18 and proceeds benefit three local nonprofits. According to Susan Dodson, organizer of the SUURF Used Book Sale and a member of the Olympia

Unitarian Universalist Congregation, the sale is sponsored by the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation (OUUC) as part of their continued community outreach to become agents of change and actively participate in building a more just society. “The online SUURF Bookstore will be packed with popular titles and literary gems that will whisk you away to summer fun and adventure – all from the comfort of your beach blanket,” says Dodson. “Whether you are an avid bookworm or a casual reader, you’ll find something to love at this community fundraising event”:

What’s In a Title?

Titles include thrilling mysteries, epic fantasies, thought-provoking classics, delightful kid’s books, and much more. Proceeds from the book sale benefit Interfaith Works, ASHHO Cultural Community Center, and OlyEcosystems, three local nonprofit organizations working towards a more loving, just, and healthy world.

“As a spiritual community that embraces people of all backgrounds and beliefs, OUUC recognizes the importance of taking tangible actions to address social issues and uplift marginalized voices”, says Dodson. “By partnering with local organizations, we undertake numerous initiatives that make a lasting difference in the lives of community members”.

OUUC previously hosted an annual Books Beans & Brownies used book sale event to raise money for local organizations that work for economic, racial, or environmental justice. When this in-person event had to pause during Covid, OUUC’s dedicated volunteers experimented with an online sale and found that it was also a great way to shop for used books.

Now they are holding both in-person (watch for that on October 28) and online Summer UU Reading Fun sales. For details on the book sale, go to OUUC envisions a loving, just, and healthy world. Their spiritual mission affirms the worth and dignity of every person, and that we are part of the infinite, interdependent “WEB” of life. Their OUUC ends inspire participants to work within, among, beyond, and throughout themselves and our community.

One World One Ocean, One Day to Celebrate

June 8 is officially World Ocean Day and was designed to celebrate the oceans around the world as well as to amplify the vital importance of our oceans and the actions we can all take to help protect them. Join Stream Team this Saturday as they celebrate and educate at their World Ocean Day Festival. Stream Team is cooperatively sponsored and funded by the storm and surface water utilities of the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Thurston County. According to their website, Stream Team fills a niche in the South Sound for providing free quality environmental education programs and activities and hands-on action projects. For more details go to

Don’t Waste Your Time – Volunteer!

The City of Tumwater is trying to ensure that recyclable and compostable items are disposed of properly at their public events. To do this effectively, they need volunteers to be Recycling and Compost Attendants at a handful of City events this year, starting with the Dog Days event this Saturday, June 10. Dog Days is a new City of Tumwater event celebrating the companionship between humanity and our furry friends.
According to Alyssa Jones Wood LEED Green Associate & NWF Habitat Steward as well as Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Tumwater, Recycling and Compost Attendant volunteers will have a key role in an important waste diversion program.

“Volunteers contribute their time to minimize the amount of waste that goes to the landfill, which will greatly improve the environmental sustainability at events”.

All Recycling and Compost Attendants will receive a “Sort-It-Out” T-Shirt, training from Tumwater City staff on what items can be properly recycled and composted, & volunteer hours. If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, contact Alyssa Jones Wood at (360) 754-4140 or email  

In addition, volunteers are also needed at this Saturday’s Dog Days event to assist with the 1k Doggie Walk, Pup Play Zone, and the Tumwater Arts photo booth.

Don’t Let the Tumwater Parade Pass You By this Independence Day

For over 30 years, the City of Tumwater has hosted its Annual Independence Day Parade on July 4. Individuals and organizations interested in participating in the parade, may learn all the details and register with this guide.

Soliciting your ideas

If you know of a nonprofit that is doing something great, celebrating a success, needs some outstanding volunteers, or hosting an event, let me know! This column (aside from a little education) celebrates nonprofits!
Mary Beth Harrington, CVA (Certified Volunteer Administrator) lives in Tumwater. She travels the country speaking at conferences and to individual organizations articulating issues facing nonprofits. Send your ideas to her at


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