February 2, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Posted in Announcements, Board, Community Partners, Development, News | Comments Off on Compassion

The recent earthquake in Haiti has given us all a new perspective on the importance of compassion and service to those less fortunate. It has been impressive to see the generous response of the American people, particularly our own Virginia Task Force 1, Fairfax County Search and Rescue Team. Their amazing work as first responders saved 16 lives. They provided an incredible self-less service to those most in need, and are an example of the compassionate spirit of the American people.

But you don’t have to serve in Haiti to make a difference in someone’s life. We see it at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia every day. The January Basic Tutor Training session filled to capacity with eager to serve volunteers in just a few weeks. The ESOL tutor training that begins in late February is already filling up fast. People in our own community are stepping up to serve others and give the gift of reading.

The response to our holiday appeal for individual contributions was also impressive. Not everyone has the ability to give time, and financial support is desperately needed during these tough economic times. We raised nearly $29,000 from 217 donors, many of them giving for the first time, and have made considerable progress toward our individual challenge match of $20,000. This, too, is a commitment of service and exercise of compassion – helping in any way you can.

Our learners make sacrifices every day just to squeeze in the time to come to class or meet with their tutor. So many of our students are driven to learn for the sake of their children: to help them with homework, to read them a bed-time story, to provide a better life for them. Others want to become better citizens, get a better job, and become more productive members of their communities. One of our learners, though pressed for time, made it a point to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address, because it was his privilege and his right to participate in the government process, even as he studies to pass the citizenship test. This, too, demonstrates a commitment to country and a passion for service.

We are all in this together; and we are doing our best to make it work for our families, our communities, our country and those who live beyond our borders. The Literacy Council is grateful to all of those who serve with us.

~Patti Donnelly, Executive Director


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