Israel Whalen’s Family Collecting Donations for Little Libraries

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ORWIGSBURG -- The family of Israel Whalen is raising money to build little free libraries in his honor.

The idea is simple -- take a book, leave a book. But, for the family of Israel Whalen, that simple idea carries great meaning.

"It promotes literacy," Whalen's aunt Celeste Kucinski said. "It promotes community interaction and involvement and that is something that is really important to us during this time because the community has been so involved in helping find Israel."

Izzy went missing last month. His body was found near Carlisle about a week ago. State police believe there was no foul play involved in his death.

"We're all still really in shock," Kucinski said. "Definitely not the outcome we hoped."

His family wants to pay tribute to him by building a little free library in his honor.

"He loved to read," Kucinski said. "He had hundreds of books and he just loved stopping at every single one of (the libraries)."

Whalen's family wants to build one that would take his love for reading and combine it with one of his other passions, which was music.

"We're going to make it into the shape of a guitar," Kucinski said. "Make like bookshelves out of it and maybe put a little piano bench next to it."

The family's goal is to raise $5,000. They hope to build their first little library near Izzy's house in Orwigsburg. After that, they want to build more all over the community.

To donate, you can do so at Kimmels Evangelical Free Church in Orwigsburg or by clicking here.

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