Ho-Ho-Ho, the red felt suit, the long-shiny-white beard and the big tummy!
What word picture “Christmas” brings to your mind?
The beauty of Poinsettias, fragrance of traditional home-cooked dinner, the garlands, baubles, tinsel, and candy canes hanging on the Christmas tree, the homes ringing in carols and the gifts beneath the tree!
It’s time you add something more to these images and pictures. It’s time you start a beautiful tradition on Christmas this year and continue for all the coming years: the tradition of becoming a volunteer, a donor and a giver. We ask for not much, but to be a part of our journey to impart the joy of literacy to one and all. Yes, add yourself and your beautiful volunteering family to the collage of pictures, moments and memories about Christmas.
For more than 25 years, Vision Literacy, a nationally recognized 501(c) (3) nonprofit corporation, has been engaged in providing necessary services to adults with low literacy skills. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines literacy as “the ability to read and write”, but with changing times, Vision Literacy has changed its definition. Today, here, we define it as, “having the language and technological skills needed to be self-sufficient and to participate fully in society.” It is hard to believe that here in Silicon Valley, there are many families that are struggling to READ. Unbelievable, right! Take a look at these facts:
- 7 million Americans cannot read words
- 27 million Americans cannot complete a job application
- 30 million cannot read a simple sentence
- 14 countries rank higher in literacy than the United States
- 1 in 5 adults in the Silicon Valley are functionally illiterate.
Shocking, right! We have the first-hand experience of how difficult life can be without literacy. There are numerous adult students who enroll in our classes because they want to help their kid in doing homework. Their kid may be just in Kindergarten. There are some students who want to learn English to be able to fill job-applications. There may be some who are unable to converse to their bosses or at work with their colleagues and hence are always scared, nervous and under confident. Yes, happiness in life depends a lot on how confident we feel of ourselves, how well we can talk (even, a few words or sentences is a big thing), our integration with the society and how confidently we can raise our kids.
Vision Literacy, the only accredited literacy organization in Silicon Valley to meet all 16 rigorous quality standards required by ProLiteracy America, provides ESL and computer classes in Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Gilroy, Cupertino and Milpitas. Our classes have students from different cultures but they all have one goal. We, with our tutors and volunteers strive to make a difference. Vision Literacy would like to ask all our readers, and their friends, their friends of friends, to support them and us in bringing positive changes in several lives. This Christmas, donate a part of your joy to someone who is a little less fortunate than you are. Joy doesn’t lessen on sharing. You will see your joy, peace and happiness, doubling when you share it. It’s an old saying, “sharing is caring”. Let your kids learn the tradition of sharing this Christmas. Set an example for them to follow for the rest of their lives. So, join hands with Vision Literacy and donate to our cause, to your cause to make our community happier and flourishing.