Jan 10, 2023 - News

5 free little alternative boxes in Richmond

"Good Dog" was inspired by a similar box the owner saw while on vacation. Image: Courtesy of Shane Dowler

We've all heard of free little libraries โ€” the boxes where folks can take or leave books โ€” but some fun alternatives are cropping up in Richmond.

๐Ÿฆด Free little dog treats

Shane Dowler and his partner added one to their house since it backs up to dog-walking destination Forest Hill Park.

  • "Good Dog" opened last week at his house at Smithdeal Avenue and 42nd Street.
The recycled Blockbuster box on Strawberry is one of four in Richmond. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

๐Ÿ“ผ Free little Blockbuster

Need a DVD or video? There are now four Richmond locations for video trades in repurposed Blockbuster rental drop boxes, of course.

  • For an added dose of nostalgia, the Fan District box sits in the front of the former Video Fan spot on Strawberry Street.

๐Ÿงผ Free little hygiene

Richmond-based nonprofit Feed the Streets RVA opened its first hygiene pantry at 1223 N. 25th St. in Church Hill last summer.

  • The box is usually stocked with feminine hygiene products (tampons and maxi pads), plus shampoo, soap and other toiletries.

๐ŸŒฑ Free little seeds

Near Manchester, Springhill Seed Library is open year round, though in winter it's filled with books and canned goods.

  • But spring through fall it really comes to life with seeds and live plants in the 500 block of W. 20th Street.
The seed trade in Woodland Heights. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

๐Ÿฅซ Free little pantries

Pantries are the OG "free little," usually stocked with canned goods, pasta and other nonperishables open to anyone in need.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show the Springhill Seed Library is on the 500 block of W. 20th Street, not the 200 block.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Richmond.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Richmond stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Richmond.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more