Mail just isn’t what it used to be. Remember the days when people actually sent letters to each other? Now the mailbox is filled with mostly junk mail and bills. Just in the past week, I’ve received literally dozens of mail from nonprofit organizations requesting contributions. Each one is worthy of support and I want to contribute and be one little part of the solution to feed the children, protect wildlife or aid our veterans, just to name a few. I often do contribute what I can. Just as I am sure you have also.
But to really make a difference takes a more sustainable commitment. Making the decision of which nonprofit organization to commit is challenging, but for me it comes down to three major factors.
- My involvement. I have been involved with the Oasis Institute Intergenerational Tutoring program for a number of years. I started as a reading specialist in the Rockwood School District working with the tutors at Kellison Elementary and experienced first-hand the difference the tutors made in the lives of the children they interacted with at school. Children that were struggling became interested in reading and wanted to be at school to learn. When I became an administrator in the district, I had a greater opportunity to recruit and train tutors on a district wide level. I also got to work with tutors across the St. Louis area.
- Success of the program. What I discovered was that these self-less individuals had a common goal — to give of their time and talent so that the next generation of students would have a more solid literacy foundation. The tutors received as much as they gave to their students. They experience value, gratification, challenge, and accomplishment. This has been happening for 25 years.
- Organization credibility. Anytime that we decide to financially support an organization the question of credibility arises. Oasis was named to a list of the top 100 nonprofits in the United States that have been proven to show results and have an impact on their communities. They have also received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, which is the largest independent charity evaluator in America.
Because I have seen the success of the Oasis Intergenerational Program and because I have worked with the Oasis Institute over the years, I made my commitment to support them financially as a donor. I would encourage each of you to consider becoming an Oasis donor. You can be assured that your donation will impact future generations as well as provide a venue for enriching the lives of many older adults.
Tamara Rhomberg, guest author and a volunteer on the Oasis Development Advisory Committee, has over 31 years of educational experience during which time she has taught grades Pre-K through graduate reading at Webster University, St. Louis, MO. Ms. Rhomberg served as a reading specialist and a K-5 Reading Intervention Coordinator prior to coming to Zaner-Bloser as a National Literacy Consultant. She has completed the Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Course to receive her certification as a Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Instructor. Through her role as a National Literacy Consultant for Zaner-Bloser Company her focus is to provide professional development to educators across the Midwest.