Happy New Year, Friend!
I hope you don’t mind me addressing you as “friend,” but a friend of Literacy Services is certainly a friend of mine. You don’t have to be besties for a friendship to be a powerful force. Friends help each other laugh, share, grieve, aspire, grow, and learn. Friends also support each other, even if the friend is an organization like Literacy Services. As a volunteer at LSW, I am always looking for ways to give them additional support. Friendraising is an easy and fun way to support a cause while sharing my passion with friends and family.

Friendraising is gaining steam as a serious way to raise funds for non-profits. The idea is simple and not all that new. Most of us have participated in some sort of “-athon” event, where we hit up family and friends for small contributions for each lap we swim, mile we walk, or hour we dance. Little donations quickly add up. I have friends who hold sandwich-making nights for shelters or host parties while collecting goods for their favorite non-profit. All of these events center around friends, fellowship, and fun. It doesn’t cost any one person very much money, but it makes a difference to the agency it helps. Even Facebook has added a fundraising feature to harness the power of your online friendships by offering the chance to have friends donate to a cause for your special day.

Creating a friendraising event can be as simple as adding a line or two to the invitation. You will make the food, buy the drink, organize games and music anyway. Suggesting a donation to your cause is just the icing on the cake, and it can really help people. Since 1984, I have tied a charitable cause to my annual holiday party. In the earliest years of my party, my guests had brought me little gifts and, as appreciated as the gestures were, I thought there must be a better way to share the holiday spirit. When I began volunteering at Literacy Services in 2011, my choice of causes was a no-brainer. I asked my friends if they felt like sharing their spirit, please bring cold, hard cash to drop in a bucket to donate to LSW before the year was over. The first year they dropped singles and coins and I was able to bring in just over a hundred dollars. Their donations grew each year.

This year I ended up collecting over $1300. Not a huge amount, but imagine what would happen if 10 other people had done this at their holiday gatherings. Or 20. Now we are talking significant contributions! The next time you plan a get together with friends, consider making it a friendraiser!


- Sara Risley, Volunteer
2018 Inspiration Awards & Fundraising Dinner
Save the Date!
Please mark your calendar to join us for our 2018 Awards & Fundraising Dinner!

Tuesday, May 15th
The Garage at the Harley-Davidson Museum®

5:00pm - Registration & Silent Auction
6:45pm - Dinner
7:15pm - Awards Program
Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available now. Contact Chad Knezel via email at chad@literacyservices.org or by phone at 414-344-5878 to learn more about supporting our event.
Tutor Participation Needed in Study 
Erin Connor, an adult literacy tutor who is studying education at the University of Alabama, is conducting a study that emphasizes the importance of volunteer tutors that are both community servants and educators dedicated to helping adults improve their literacy skills. While most literacy studies focus on the outcomes of learners, this study is the first to focus solely on the perspectives of tutors and better understand what drives them to volunteer for this cause.
 
Tutors are asked to complete the online survey, which should take about 30-45 minutes and consists of questions about the different types of literacy learners they might encounter, their reasons for becoming volunteer literacy tutors, and their ideas about solving social problems. Participation is anonymous and confidential. Feel free to share the survey link with other tutors.
 
If you have questions about the study or your participation, please contact Erin at eoconnor@crimson.ua.edu or 205-535-2988.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?"
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Volunteer Opportunities
Website Maintenance & Development
Support the work of those in Literacy Services’ Adult Secondary Education (ASE) Program by volunteering to help further develop and maintain the program’s website. The ASE program website offers computer-based educational content for the students studying in the program. The ASE Program Website Specialist works with the ASE Program Director to develop and maintain engaging and relevant digital resources for the students and tutors in the program.
Front Desk Support
Front Desk Support volunteers assist the organization and staff in communicating with incoming students, donors, and other guests and callers to fulfill their requests, as well as maintain respectful confidentiality of personal information. We are looking for someone to fill in on Fridays from 8:30am-12:30pm and someone for evenings, Monday to Thursday, 4:00pm-7:00pm. The commitment can be short term or ongoing. Contact Robin Brisco by phone at 414-344-5878, by email using the button below, or by sending a message to robin@literacyservices.org.
Mark Your
Calendar
February
8th - Volunteer Orientation
9:30-10:30am
21st - Volunteer Orientation
5:30-6:30pm

March
6th - Volunteer Orientation
9:30-10:30am
21st - Volunteer Orientation
5:30-6:30pm
26th-30th - Spring Break
No Classes

April
4th - Volunteer Orientation
9:30-10:30am
10th - Student Honors Celebration
Noon-1:30 Downtown Center
17th - Volunteer Orientation
5:30-6:30pm

May
8th - Volunteer Orientation
9:30-10:30am
15th - 2018 Inspiration Awards & Fundraising Dinner
5:00pm - The Garage at the Harley-Davidson Museum®
24th - Volunteer Orientation
5:30-6:30pm

Volunteer Appreciation Party
Our Volunteer Appreciation Party will not be held in conjunction with Valentine's Day this year. In an effort to be available to volunteers who travel to warmer regions in winter, we will be moving our celebration to September and will share our celebration with National Literacy Month. Stay tuned for more information.
"Tutors, you make a difference. You really do. So thank you for coming and sharing your knowledge with us because it means the world."
- GED Student Donna at the 2018 Downtown Student Honors Celebration
Special Thanks
Literacy Services would like to thank Mary Tobin for serving as Board President during the last two years. Her leadership was critical during the merger with Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services and throughout the strategic planning process. We are pleased to welcome David Hanson back as Board President and look forward to growing our organization under his guidance once again. We are also indebted to Dr. Patricia Ellis, John Miller, and Susan Walker for the years they shared their time and talents on our board of directors. Thank you all!
Mary Tobin
David Hanson
Dr. Patricia Ellis
John Miller
Susan Walker
How do you know if Literacy Services is closed for inclement weather?
Occasionally Literacy Services will cancel classes and close due to adverse or unsafe weather conditions. To be alerted to these closures follow local media announcements for weather related closings, call our office or check our website to verify if we have canceled classes.