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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Giving Back, Author Style

About two years ago I decided to start volunteering for a cause near and dear to many a writers -- adult literacy. I was familiar with my local organization, the Adult Literacy League as I'd been an organizer for several of my RWA chapter's big annual holiday signing events that benefited that group.

On the advice of two friends who were already tutors, I signed up for training and a few weeks later was matched with a woman a couple of years my senior, a lady who had a learning disability. I'll call her Rose. I figured that I'd help Rose improve her reading skills for an hour or two every week. She'd leave the office with a better skill set and I'd go home no different from when I'd arrived.

Little did I know that I'd get at least as much out of the experience as my student did. Opening someone's eyes to the world of reading is incredibly fulfilling. I'm not only my student's tutor, but in some ways I'm also her sounding board, and her window to a whole new world.

When the Chief Development Officer for the League asked me to sit on the planning committee for their biggest fundraising event of the year, I felt honored and immediately accepted. This past Wednesday evening, that event took place. Reading Between the Wines was a smashing success. The ALL hosted the gala that featured NY Times Bestselling Author Elizabeth Berg and included a silent auction, tastings from several local restaurants and wines from local distributors at our beautiful Science Center.

I'm a big believer in volunteering for one's community. As a writer, volunteering for literacy is a great way to give back to my community.

Literacy matters for everything from reading street signs to product labels to filling out job applications. For information on the Adult Literacy League, please click on the LINK.


Rita said...

What a wonderful post. Thanks for all you do. Your community is very lucky.

Wynter said...

Aw, thanks, Rita. I truly enjoy the experience.

Marcelle Dubé said...

What a great thing to do, Wynter. You inspire me.

Anne Marie Becker said...

This is so great, Wynter! I've actually thought that this is one of the causes I'd like to donate time to when the kids are grown and I have more time to give. I was a tutor years ago, and it is so rewarding! Great to hear your experience.

Wynter said...

Thanks, Marcelle! I first started volunteering because a few friends who volunteered inspired me.

Anne Marie - I started after my youngest went off to college. It's the perfect time, and the perfect gig for a writer!

jean harrington said...

Good for you, Wynter. Your experience with the literacy program is proof that by giving we receive.

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

That's such a great thing to be involved in. I'm currently volunteering for an after school program to help K-3rd grade kids improve their reading. I think I get a lot more out of it than the kids do - it's so much fun!

Cheers - Ellen

Wynter said...

Thanks, Jean. I got my proof!

Good for you, Ellen! I don't think I'd have the patience to work with kids. I'm glad there are people like you who do.

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