Monday, March 2, 2009

Thank yous - Part I

On February 27, 2009 Literacy Instruction for Texas honored volunteers and donors of distinction with a luncheon at the Prestonwood Country Club (for which I want to add a big thank you to the Vance C. Miller family for generously underwriting this year's luncheon).

Executive Director Sonyia Hartwell thanked some of our volunteers for contributions to LIFT in 2008 and I want to post her remarks.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of LIFT. Without them, LIFT could not possibly serve more than 8,000 adult learners in one year. Truth be told, volunteering is really work without pay. The same tasks are performed, the same standards apply and the same results are achieved. In the case of LIFT, in 2008 more than 500 volunteers contributed the equivalent of a half million dollars in paid services.

Most volunteer to provide classroom instruction and encouragement to adult learners. Others serve on the board of directors making policy and raising money and awareness in support of adult literacy. Some come to help around the offices and learning center with administrative and fund development tasks. All of them are invaluable to the program and participants.

We value and admire each of these selfless acts of giving. Today there are a few that we wish to acknowledge for unique contributions to LIFT in 2008.

  • Sandy McFeeley for developing and hosting the LIFT Reading Group, an interactive reading group for adult learners to share the joy of reading and books with each other.

  • Arnell Thompson for creating and teaching the afternoon math class to help those who are seeking extra tutoring.

  • Stefon Chandler for providing gifts to the adult learners in the night program for their annual holiday party

  • Hector, Bill and Richard for assisting the LIFT IT team in a year long effort to improve the management and security of LIFT's computer network and all its stored information.

  • Don Weber for his continued work to update the LIFT database even though he lives in another state now.

  • Sarah Ahr, Brigitta Able, Sam Guerra and Lynn Sawyer for fielding two Spelling Bee teams in support of the annual Adult Spelling Bee.

  • Joan Tibbets Hudson for securing multiple radio PSA's that resulted in a thousand plus phone calls to LIFT about classes.

  • And finally to Karen Guida who volunteered a total of 446 hours in 2008 including a successful voter registration drive at LIFT for unregistered adult learners.

NBC newsman and best selling author Tom Brokaw said "It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference.". Thank you for continuing to make a big difference at LIFT.

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