For the second year in row, I used my birthday to give for good and benefit an organization where I volunteer my time: First Book-DC! This year’s Literacy Movement raised over $1,400 to provide book grants for teachers and literacy programs serving children in need. Held on November 9th, at Ulah Bistro on U. Street, my birthday friendraiser brought together over fifty young professionals in the DC Metropolitan Area united to fight illiteracy.
My friend and founder of Capital Media USA, Garrett James, served as the night’s photographer and wrote a great piece on the event. Check out pictures on his website and amazing recap. Below is a snippet:
Quick Story: I grew up in the great state of North Carolina; home of chopped BBQ (not that ‘pulled’ stuff yall northerners eat), tobacco, and some of theeeee BEST universities this side of the galaxy. And with that, we also have/had pretty good public schools systems. So when I came to the DMV and heard that public schools had a different reputation, I wasn’t happy about it but I understood how that could be. What bothered me most then and even today, was knowing that some kids didn’t have books to read at school or at home. Like really? How can we have high expectations for youth if we don’t prepare them properly? It was challenging for me to accept. It seemed like a hyperbole statement someone created to make a point, but it’s not; it’s true. Even now, it bothers me and it bothers Ms. Bunting also. This is one of the reasons she supports First Book; she’s also the Co-Chair with Angel McNeil.
Darla shared some of the org’s model with me recently: “We give out book grants to teachers and nonprofits serving children in need twice a year–once in the fall and spring. Since we are volunteer-led, 100% of your donation goes to our book grants. First Book has partnerships with major book distributors like Harper Collins and Barnes and Noble, so our book grantees use their grants to purchase books for at significantly discounted prices. The average book costs $2.50 on the First Book Marketplace. Your donation goes a long way. Once the teacher or nonprofit receives the books, they use them in the curriculum, and then the books become the property of the kids.” #winning
Check out the full post here and browse around Garrett James’ site while you’re there!