Publix installs lending library at United Way of Cullman County

Publix employees (left to right) Stacey Harbison, Heather Harris, Kaitlyn Singletary, Cullman Publix Manager Brad Boshell, and United Way of Cullman County Executive Director Becky Goff pose with the “Little Library” installed Tuesday. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman Publix Manager Brad Boshell and members of his crew on Tuesday celebrated Publix Serves Day, first grilling out at the Margaret Jean Jones Center, then installing a “Little Library” book lending box in front of the United Way of Cullman County (UWCC) office at the Old Depot.  Throughout the day, Publix associates across the company’s seven operating states volunteered at more than 150 local nonprofit organizations and installed 128 lending libraries, bringing the total number of Publix-sponsored lending libraries to approximately 300.

Boshell said, “The Little Library will be donated to United Way and will come with $100 worth of new books as well as other books we have collected.  At Publix, the value of being involved in our communities is one we all have in common.  Locally, we are committed to finding opportunities to help Cullman County grow and thrive and in addition to the many other ways Publix gives back.  We love to volunteer and serve where we live and work.”

During the installation Tuesday afternoon, Boshell told The Tribune, “I’m just glad to be part of the community. That’s part of our mission statement at Publix, is ‘involved as responsible citizens in our communities.’  We built this Little Library project at our yearly conference, and I think (UWCC Executive Director) Becky (Goff) applied for it here. It was accepted, and I’m just proud to be here to be part of it.”

UWCC will maintain the free lending library and invites the community to participate by donating new or gently used books.

Said Goff, “United Way is committed to improving and supporting educational opportunities in Cullman County.  We get a lot of visitors at the Train Depot and Depot Park, this will be a great opportunity to provide books for readers of all ages and backgrounds in our community.  We are very excited to partner with Publix as the steward for the Little Library.”

She continued, “Cullman is definitely fortunate to have a partner in Publix; specifically, this store manager, Brad, is incredibly generous.” 

Looking to Boshell she added, “I hate to get this word out, but you hardly ever say no, and we appreciate that. He has a heart for our community and for the people that we serve and help, and is one to roll up his sleeves and give back at all times, no matter what the ask is.  So he is one of those that we can always count on to help when help is needed.”

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Cullman Publix Manager Brad Boshell cooks up hamburgers and hot dogs at the Margaret Jeans Jones Center on Tuesday as part of Publix Serves Day. Boshell and his team fed about 100 people. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

W.C. Mann