Running to Promote Reading in Young Readers

Why We Run?

welcome runners

Hands down, one of the most inspiring days of my life was running the Boston Marathon. There are many reasons for this but none more than the events that exemplified the power of the human spirit.

Not surprisingly, many of these moments came from waves three and four, the last waves compiled of teammates who fundraised and ran for a cause. My team was Dana Farber, and as a team we raised over $5 million for cancer research—$5 million!

Personally, several people in my life (my grandfather, neighbor Charlotte, student Jake, uncle Paul, and grandmother) inspired my call to run, which made the athletic feat (for me) far more meaningful than a twenty-six mile course—I was running for patients, families, and friends experiencing a painful time that my family/friends understood.

People with stories; people in need of support and compassion.

During my training, I fundraised for DFMC (Dana Farber Marathon Challenge) and raised (with the help of so many generous spirits) just under my individual goal of $10,000. Meanwhile, my tremendous cousin, Michael, raised his individual goal of $5,000.

Amazing! But with such success, Michael and I wondered if we could help another cause we felt needed support…

michael and me


Moving Forward

Well, we found one!

This year, Michael and I are tying up our laces again for a half marathon in Niagara Falls. Although there is no fundraising requirement to enter this run, we agreed that we wanted to find a group to run and fundraise for any way; an organization that shared something we are both passionate about.

What is that cause?

Promoting reading in young readers!

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Bound by our collaborated passion for stories—our belief that sharing stories can unite (and sometimes save) people from all races, genders, sexualities, and backstories—Michael and I have decided to run for an organization/company that believes/supports this same cause.

But with so many wonderful organizations out there, we’re reaching out to you to help us make this big decision: What company/organization promoting reading in young readers should we run for?


We Need Your Help!

If you have the time, and if you believe in the importance of encouraging young readers and children to read, please check out the organizations that we are considering below. I’ve provided a brief description of the five organizations, as well as a three-question survey that can enlighten our perspective on the company you would most support.

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Give them a read and then take a couple minutes to complete our survey, which you can find in the attached link.

We so appreciate your feedback and your contribution to the powerful change people  make when we choose compassion for others first.


Organizations/Companies for Consideration

If you want more information than provided, click the pictures to link to a video campaign for each organization/company.

1) Sparking Literacy

sparkingConcerned with the literary crisis in America, with one in four kids growing up with an inability to read, Sparking Literacy promotes reading for pleasure in young readers. Results have improved literacy rates, prevented dropouts, and changed the future for young people by creating Sparking Literacy book clubs in schools, hosting author events, donating books, and developing audiobooks to help kids with disabilities learn to read.

2) We Need Diverse Books

diverseA spectacular company that works to put more books with diverse characters in the hands of children. Donations help this organization diversify the classroom, support diverse authors, promote diverse programming, and develop educational kits through various programs WNDB internships, scholarship grants, and book giveaways.

3) United Through Reading unitedUnited Through Reading helps the children of active military personnel bond with their deployed parents through reading. Representatives from the nonprofit visit military bases all over the world film parents reading books to their kids back at home, building the emotional bond between parents and children through literacy.

4) Book Aid International book aidDistributes books to libraries, schools, hospitals, prisons, refugee camps and rural communities in order to encourage literacy and access to reading materials in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The NGO has sent roughly 30 million books to underserved areas since its founding in 1954.

5)Project Night Night

night nightProject Night Night sends over 25,000 “Night Night Packages” to homeless children each year. These packages contain blankets, stuffed animals, and children’s books that help kids in poor living conditions “feel secure, cozy, ready to learn, and significant.”


Take the Survey!

So there you have it, five stellar nonprofit organizations doing all they can to support reading. Though there are several organizations out there with a similar vision, these five tugged at our heartstrings the most. How about you?

Take our SURVEY to help us decide a) what organization we should fundraise/run for this October and b) why you would donate to this company.

Until next time, thanks for all your help.

And happy reading!

“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” —Vera Nazarian