By Betty Trummel
Just a quick week ago we celebrated A to Z Literacy Movement’s 10-year anniversary with our annual fundraiser. Thanks again to everyone who came out to share the evening with us! As guests dined on delicious food, bid on wonderful baskets/tickets to events, sampled beer or wine, and viewed posters sharing our work in the past ten years, it was awesome to talk with them and look back at the tremendous amount of good our small nonprofit organization has accomplished in our first ten years.
We’ll be posting a series of blogs to highlight the work of our first “Decade in the Books!” Read on to find out more about the origin of A to Z Literacy Movement.
In 2009, Mal Keenan traveled to Zambia for the first time and saw the tremendous need for putting books into the hands of impoverished children. After nine long months of paperwork and with the help of a lawyer, friends, and a CPA, A to Z Literacy Movement, a nonprofit 501c3 organization, was approved by the Internal Revenue Service. Our fledgling organization was born.
Mal began collecting books from schools and other organizations who donated gently used books to A to Z Literacy Movement. Sorting books quickly became a huge part of the organization. Volunteers diligently worked to decide which books were appropriate to send globally and which books were geared more toward local children.
As Mal’s passion for literacy and helping others grew, she soon realized that in order to move forward she needed volunteers, book finders and sorters, marketing specialists, and fundraisers. A to Z volunteers recognized the value of social media and getting the word out through presentations, blog posts, and videos to highlight what Mal witnessed on her first trip to Zambia.
During that first year, the A to Z Literacy Movement Board and volunteer network slowly came together. Each person’s contributions were valuable in advancing the goals and mission of our organization.