Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia – Whitman Branch

Often in our times, generosity goes unrewarded and unrecognized, and that is something we hope to remedy. But even without organizations like us, there are instances of generosity that are their own reward – and most often, they are those offered to a child. Heather Warren, a librarian for the Free Library of Philadelphia, had one such instance. When the front wheel of Hieu Nyugen’s bicycle was stolen outside of the Santore branch library in Philadelphia, Warren heard him sob his frustrated. The bike was not his, but lent to his family. His mother needed it to travel to the market. He used it several times a week to spend afternoons at the library, learning English and helping the librarians. Hieu, a young Vietnamese immigrant with little English and much enthusiasm, was referred to as “her star” by Ms. Corbett. When attempts on Facebook to find a donated tire proved fruitless, Heather Warren purchased a bike for Hieu and surprised him with it on his next trip to the library.
This type of kindness is so heart-warming and appreciated, not only by the recipient, but by those like us who simply read an article about it days later. It’s exactly what we hope to see in a Max Moment – an act of generosity and compassion with no other goal than to make someone smile.
Ms. Warren has chosen to donate her gift to the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia, a cause we feel is more than worthy. We hope that this gift, in honor of Heather Warren and Max Zalesky, can help the Friends continue to make the libraries of Philadelphia a welcoming place for people like Hieu all across the city.


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