Stand With Dreamers

The headlines are unsettling- Walls, Bans, Deportations.

Is this who we really are?

The America that I love chose “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One) as our National Motto in 1776 because our founders realized that, as a nation of and for immigrants, our strength comes from our diversity. Unless you are a member of a First Nation Tribe, every one of us has an Immigrant Story in our family history of people chasing a dream for a better life.

Here are some of the dreams our neighbors are trying to fulfill right now:

• I don’t want to make $10 an hour the rest of my life.
• I feel blind. I use my thumbprint to sign papers. I want to change this
• I can’t help Juana with her homework. That’s why I’m here, to learn enough to help my daughter with her homework

If like me, you believe we should honor our immigrant history and embrace diversity as a core American value then today I am asking you to stand with the volunteers who have been standing with these dreamers for 50 years, right here in Santa Cruz County. Our volunteers give their time to work with over 400 of these dreamers every year. Every week, they meet in homes, churches, libraries, workplaces and our offices as Tutors, coaches and mentors to give our neighbors the skills they need to succeed in our community.

In our 50 years, we have helped over 10,000 neighbors realize their dreams through Literacy.

People like Jesus, pictured here with his tutor:

“I am learning to read and write in English. I like coming to my classes and doing my homework. It makes me feel like I can succeed at work and makes my children proud of me. My reading is much better, and my writing is getting better slowly, but better!”

It is not enough to be angry or sad at the people who are challenging our values.

Act today to help us reach the more than 60 people on our waiting list- our neighbors- who are hungry for the skills to give their families a better life.

We need volunteer tutors who donate 2 hours a week to help hard-working students reach their dreams. We also need to raise $30,000 to provide training, support and materials to reach the people on our waiting list. With your support we will train 80 new tutors and sustain our current 200 students.

Every dollar you give today to our Literacy Challenge Fund will be matched by local donors.

The Literacy program completely changed my life and my family’s life. When we learn English, we recover ourselves and our dignity.” – Literacy Student Maribel

By taking action together, we empower families. More importantly, we show that the American values of welcome, diversity, and community are thriving here in Santa Cruz County.

Contribute to the Literacy Challenge Fund


Blog Post Written by Volunteer Center Executive Director Karen Delaney.  Karen has led the Volunteer Center for more than 30 years and is an internationally recognized leader, trainer and speaker in the field of volunteerism, community building and nonprofit management. Karen’s formula for success is “hope, fun, curiosity, gratitude, belief in people and good data.”

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