EDITORIAL: No other donation? Please consider this
If you make no other donation this year - and we certainly hope that you will, based on you ability to do so - please consider making this donation.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Laurens County needs your help. The Imagination Library has mailed 230,000 books, and each month, mails 1,382 books. Here, it is paid for by the United Way of Laurens County.
The expense causes the United Way to “dig deep.” And they will “keep on digging deep,” the UWLC Board Chair Rev. Dev. Jeri Parris Perkins said at Thursday’s United Way 2017 kick-off luncheon. Still, paying for this can take funding away from some other worthy community project.
Not that this “diversion” isn’t a good and worthwhile thing; we just want all worthy organizations funded, just like they do at the United Way. That cannot always happen, and a limited amount of money limits the number of agencies funded. Already, United Way of Laurens County assists 24 agencies offering more than 30 services.
Our county is much less compassionate and, really, is poorer without these partnerships of donors, agencies and the United Way board and staff.
The Imagination Library, we believe, deserves special attention because of the light in the eyes and the spark in the brain it can give our children. A childhood reader can turn into a life-long reader - a life-long learner. You’re never too old to learn new things, to try new adventures. Reading opens these vistas to everyone.
This October in Beaufort, the second Pat Conroy Literary Festival will be staged, and while South Carolinians will play a prominent role, people will come from all over the country to see, hear and feel Conroy’s literature. The books of the Imagination Library are gateways to such a literary endeavor, which brings attention and honor to our state.
Far too often, South Carolina is looked down upon for its education and literacy. While we have issues that we, within our own state family, are addressing, this attitude comes most often from people who are trying to build themselves up - while looking down on us.
That never works. Considering yourself more than someone else might make you feel good - but it is false pride. There is one book in particular which teaches this valuable lesson.
A statement about The Dolly Parton Imagination Library says, “This program is proven to increase early reading, vocabulary skills, and parent-child interaction by providing free books to every child enrolled. Each month, the child receives an age appropriate book delivered directly to their home to generate excitement about reading.”
Every Laurens County child under age five can have a free library of up to 60 books. They can develop the skills they will need to succeed in school.
Donations can be mailed to: United Way of Laurens County Inc., P.O. Box 544, Clinton, SC 29325-0544. Information is available at: www.uwlc-online.org
If your company or civic organization wants a donation schedule, UWLC can provide a card that has these giving levels. Any gift is appreciated, but you should know - for as little as $27 one child can be sponsored for one year.
Certainly, every Sunday School class, every English-Literature class, every Scout troop, every Police and Fire Department - and most of us, as individuals - can afford a $27 gift. Put out a spare change jar, keep it secure and watch the donation accumulate. You’ll have $27 before you know it - then, another $27, then another.
This appeal, certainly, is not to take away from the other, great work of the United Way. We ask you to join in a workplace campaign, to the best of your ability to participate.
We have so many requests, and sometimes demands, we know - school taxes, county taxes, city fees, business licenses, Hurricane Harvey victims - that sometimes it’s mind-boggling just trying to keep up. Please, just thoughtfully consider what it can mean to a child when you respond to an outstretched book and a small, sweet voice:
“Please, read to me.”