Advocacy: Speaking on behalf of or in support of vulnerable children
By Jim Wambach | March 11, 2020
Perspectives Article by Jim Wambach, Executive Director
“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” — Fred Rogers
Our dedicated community volunteers – who tutor reading and math, mentor high school youth, provide library services, feed the hungry, and support our staff – are indeed heroes. They are all responding to an urgent need to address the substantial educational disparity that exists for children growing up in our lowest-income neighborhoods and attending local schools.
Every week throughout the school year, our volunteer tutors make it possible for a struggling boy or girl to receive one-on-one attention that tells that child they matter, despite where they live or the immense challenges they must overcome. The tutoring session is dedicated to teaching reading skills or building a basic math foundation, but our heroes’ true superpowers involve listening, encouraging, and being truly present for their child. Volunteer tutors are fueled by a deep commitment to nurturing a vulnerable child and making a difference in our community. This is advocacy.
By simultaneously building learning and self-worth, our tutors empower these children with hope, the courage to dream, and an opportunity to thrive.
“I know you can’t live on hope alone; but without hope, life is not worth living. So you, and you and you: you got to give them hope; you got to give them hope.” ― Harvey Milk
The need is great. The solution is simple, but not easy. Please consider volunteering or making a financial gift. Everyone can be an advocate as we all work to give these wonderful children a more just and fair opportunity to rise to their potential.