Thursday, July 1, 2010

The world is changing too fast....

Some days I feel so insignificant. The world is changing too fast, and I can't do a thing about it. Don't get me wrong; I like change and variety. The problem is keeping up! Too much going on. Too many people to connect with, or answer to, or do right by. Too many emails, voice mails, and junk mails. So many choices. Sometimes it all seems so bewildering. In 1970, the futurist Alvin Toffler wrote in Future Shock, "The illiterate of the year 2000 will NOT be someone who cannot read or write, but someone who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn." Jeeps, how did he know? He wrote this 40 years ago!

My own "future shock" is why I am so thrilled that Turning Pages has reached the modest but significant goal of raising $25,000 in two months. We are a tiny non-profit struggling to stay alive in order to keep serving the people who need us. Reaching this goal means we have enough funding to stay open for another whole year.

Frankly, I didn't think it would happen. But I didn't know the power of small contributions from donors whom I thought had little to give. These are hard times. How could we beg our friends, families and associates to support the cause of adult literacy, a hidden problem, but one affecting more than 600,000 families in South Carolina? But I swallowed my reluctance and announced our need. And lo and behold, we are still here!

Individuals willing to give just a little bit are NOT insignificant. There is an old joke: "How do you eat an elephant? Why, one bite at a time, of course!" One donor at a time, one dollar at a time, many individuals have joined together to make a difference. It wasn't big government funding or a grant or a slick special event that saved us. It was a group of individuals.

Words of thanks fail to communicate how grateful and proud I am to lead Turning Pages as executive director. The world is changing too fast, but we are all in this together. Everything is going to be all right.


  1. I thank God that Turning Pages is able to continue. I have a disabiltiy that alters my life severly.

    Yesterday I felt I was from the same genus as toe nail fungus.

    Today, after meeting with my learner, I felt like I laid a useful brick in another adult's life. A brick that will endure a lifetime.

    We will never know. Thank you Debbie and staff!!

  2. Our tutors, like Dyonna, often tell us they benefit as much, sometimes more, from working with adult learners as their learning partners do themselves.