WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI – #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. This year, #GivingTuesday will be December 3, 2019. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
With United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties you can get involved by making a $30.00 donation and sponsoring a child in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program. This program mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until the age of five every month. A donation of $30.00 will cover one year of free books for a child in south Wood County.
Imagination Library was implemented in south Wood County in 2017 by United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties’ Women United. So far this year, 640 children in south Wood County received books each month. There are no income requirements for the children enrolled, they just need to be a resident in Wisconsin Rapids, Nekoosa, Port Edwards, Rudolph or Vesper.
Children who begin the program first receive “The Little Engine That Could.” When the child turns five he/she gets a final book titled “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!” Each book is selected with a special purpose, based on the age of the recipient.
Tari Jahns, United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties’ CEO, is also a founding member of Women United. “We brought Imagination Library to south Wood County because we know how important it is for parents and guardians to read to their children, especially babies,” said Tari. “80% of brain development in a child occurs by the age of three. By the age of one, a child may not be able to say many words, but can understand an average of 70 words. Babies and toddlers are like a sponge so it’s crucial that we do our best to transform them into learners so they are ready for kindergarten. One way to do this is to read to a child for 15 minutes every day!”
United Way recognizes that it’s not always easy to read for 15 minutes every day. Sometimes it’s also hard for parents to find the time to go to the library, or may have transportation issues. We also know that when children have a collection of their own books at home, they are more likely to read.
During a recent survey, parents and guardians of children currently enrolled in Imagination Library had many positive things to say!
· “Imagination Library gives us an opportunity to add new books to my children’s book collection. It’s not always easy to get to the library to check out new books. I feel that the program will help young children in our community have access to books they otherwise may not have been able to obtain.” – Jodi M.
· “My kids like how these are ‘their’ books. I like the back page that gives you activities to do to enhance the kids’ connection with the book. The program makes me be more intentional about reading to them.” – Betsy M.
· “I love that you help make children happy even though their parents may not be able to afford books themselves. The program absolutely helps by making reading fun! I’m just so thankful.” – Chelsea H.
· “My children hardly ever receive mail, so they get excited when they see a book for them. Books are great learning tools. However, as a mom of four, it’s hard to find time to go to the library consistently or be proactive when it comes to purchasing books. It’s nice when they just show up. No matter the content, it is always new and captivating for my kids, so we love this program. It’s a great tool to get books into the hands of parents and kids early.” - Rachel O.
· “It makes my son feel special to get a book in his name in the mail. I love watching his face light up when he gets a new book. And, of course, we love reading them together. Imagination Library is helping my son prepare for school because now he’s excited to read. Keeping kids interested in reading is half the battle these days. We really love this program and are so proud to be a part of it! Thank you!” – Nikki B.
To make a $30 donation to United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties’ Imagination Library, visit our website at www.uwswac.org.
This year during #GivingTuesday donors can make a $30.00 donation and sponsor a child in south Wood County in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for one year. The program mails free monthly books to children from birth until age five.
About United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties
United Way of South Wood & Adams Counties is focused on the building blocks of a better life: Education, Financial Stability, Health and Safety Net Services. We mobilize our community in these areas by: supporting partner programs, community coalitions, and initiatives; providing 2-1-1 and Volunteer Center programs; and creating collaborative partnerships within our community.
You can help when you LIVE UNITED: Give, Advocate and Volunteer. To learn more please visit www.uwswac.org.