There are so many ways in which our supporters are involved in First Literacy and dedicate themselves to our different initiatives. Each supporter plays a vital role. The value lies not in the amount given, but in the gesture of giving itself. The commitment and contributions of our donors enable First Literacy to offer free professional development workshops for educators, scholarships to adult learners, and grants for innovative programs. Generous donors make ambitious goals achievable.
Mayur Illuminates First Literacy’s Mission
Mayur has been supporting First Literacy since May of 2022. In addition to being a First Literacy donor, he is a member of First Literacy’s Associate Board, a group of young professionals committed to increasing awareness and raising funds to support the mission of First Literacy through social and networking activities.
As an immigrant himself, Mayur understands the challenges that come along with moving to another country, and the time that it takes to adjust to a new culture. His biggest inspiration for supporting First Literacy’s work comes from his mother. Due to financial hardships, she never had an opportunity to attend school, and as he watches her learn English at the age of 65, not only does it motivate him, but it inspires him to be better in his day-to-day life.
“Since childhood, I firmly believed education must and should be accessible universally. When I came across this opportunity at First Literacy, I knew I had to do this.”
Mayur’s support also extends beyond the First Literacy Associate Board. Mayur applied for a grant through Robert Half, where he is Manager of Marketing Systems Analysis.
“My sole aim was to raise awareness of First Literacy’s work. I was thrilled when I was notified of the successful approval of the grant request.”
Through his contributions as a member of the First Literacy Associate Board and his drive to apply for a grant, Mayur has effectively placed First Literacy’s work in the spotlight. We are grateful for Mayur’s support and dedication to our cause.
The Putnam Family Legacy
Rosemary and Bob Putnam have supported First Literacy for many years. A retired teacher, Rosemary dedicated 15 years to teaching special education at middle schools and high schools in Lexington and Wellesley. Throughout her career, literacy was an important focus, especially as she recognized reading difficulties among students. The ultimate do-gooder, her life has been centered around tutoring and supporting others, reflecting her deep commitment to helping those in need.
Recently, Rosemary and Bob Putnam established a family foundation within their will, which allocates funds to various charitable organizations after a thorough discussion within the Putnam family council of the relative merits of various organizations. They felt it was important to initiate this endeavor before either of their passing, so they can be a part of the conversations and see the impact of their donations. Neither Bob nor Rosemary came from an affluent background, but they were fortunate enough to establish a stable income through Bob’s professional journey, enabling them to give back through their foundation.
When Rosemary was a special education teacher, she worked with children to identify the learning challenges they faced. In her work with children and their parents, Rosemary was surprised by her observation that many parents had similar learning disabilities.
“It stuck with me that some of these parents may have been dyslexic but didn’t receive the education and support they needed. This was proof for me that there are a lot of adults struggling with literacy that need help.”
Bob also expressed that Rosemary’s work to create a culture in the family for caring for one another has enabled the family to give now, and ultimately continue giving even after they’ve passed.
Bob and Rosemary, along with their children, have devoted a significant part of their lives to living across Europe, fostering connections in England, Sweden, Italy, and Germany. They represent a generation of Americans who lived internationally. That in turn led to their children and now grandchildren living abroad. These experiences helped to expand their families’ views of learning and understanding new cultures and languages.
The Putnam’s appreciate the vast ways in which First Literacy supports adult learners from a variety of backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to learn, grow and realize their dreams. First Literacy extends its gratitude for the unwavering support generously provided by the Putnam family.
Olga Pays it Forward with First Literacy
Olga discovered First Literacy through a colleague from Deloitte who previously served on First Literacy’s Spelling Bee Host Committee. At a time when Olga was considering community involvement, her colleague shared First Literacy’s mission of assisting adult learners, particularly from the immigrant population in the Boston area.
This resonated deeply with Olga and her own personal story of coming to the United States from the former Soviet Union thirty years ago. Despite studying English in school, her family’s spoken English was initially limited. Her parents, in their forties at the time, received invaluable help from a similar organization, which helped them to quickly secure employment.
“I wanted to give back and assist others who may be in a similar situation. There are many organizations that focus on young learners, there are very few that cater to adults. Being a donor and a board member for First Literacy, I feel it allows me to contribute meaningfully to the Greater Boston community and support others in a way similar to how my family was helped.”
Olga has been a member of the First Literacy Board of Directors since June of 2019 and has been deeply involved in engaging Deloitte professionals in First Literacy’s mission through Deloitte’s own internal Spelling Bee and other initiatives, such as their “Dollars for Donuts” drive.
She also supports the First Literacy Spelling Bee by donating auction items, serving on the organizing committee, and securing Deloitte’s sponsorship for the annual spelling bee.
We are very thankful for Olga’s support and advocacy for First Literacy over the years.