As we make our way through another season of gratitude and giving, I can’t help but reflect on what a gift to The READ Center means. As Development Director, I often think about what READ is able to give because of our donors. How, without our network of supporters, we wouldn’t be able to offer free services to adults seeking to improve their lives through literacy. We wouldn’t be able to help students accomplish their goals, be it finding a job or gaining citizenship or reading their prescriptions. We wouldn’t be a critical piece in the greater puzzle working to ensure that adults struggling in our community can find better ways of living. If READ students are the organization’s heart, then our donors – together with our teachers and tutors – are the lifeblood that bonds together to make our mission of changing lives through literacy possible.

But what do our donors get when they give to READ?

I’ll tell you what set The READ Center apart for me when I first discovered it. It wasn’t that through our mission, READ tackles several pressing social issues, including poverty, poor job & housing prospects, low educational attainment, and shame. It wasn’t that READ not only offers adults a second chance at learning basic life skills we take for granted, but also opens brand new doors of opportunity. It wasn’t that READ is truly a community of learners who show unique passion, dedication, and commitment to providing the very best education in an encouraging and safe environment.

It was that READ offers a real and tangible solution NOW. As READ Executive Director, Karen La Forge, stated, “This is solvable! We aren’t looking for a gene, we don’t have to go to another planet, we know how to solve it. It’s an investment of time and money and we know how to fix it.” READ provides accessible and attainable ways for adults to truly change their lives. This benefits the population we serve, but it also benefits our donors. As a donor myself, I need more than the abstract concept of making a difference to inspire me to give – I need proof. READ offers that proof, whether it’s Mr. Bernard getting a job this past October, or Dequane getting his driver’s license in September. READ makes lives better, plain and simple, because our donors make lives better.

If you haven’t yet given to READ this year, please consider a life-changing gift that can make a positive difference for fellow adults in your community. And thank you for making our mission possible.

Wishing you the happiest holidays,

Erin Hillert,
READ Director of Development

The READ Center is changing lives through adult literacy. For more information on how you can get involved with the READ Center, consider volunteering as a tutor or donating. If you or someone you know would like more information about joining our classes, learn how to become a student or call 804-288-9930.