My first area of focus is community service focused in improving and creating more opportunities for education. I want to introduce you to VNSA, an organization I worked closely with throughout high school that is constantly working to increase the level of literacy in the valley and nationally. According to The National Institute for Literacy, twenty two percent of adults in America have minimal literacy skills, ranging from a low comprehension or reading level to no reading abilities at all. Statistics also show “people with higher degrees of literacy are more likely to complete their education and to obtain higher-paying jobs.”
This Week: The Annual VNSA Book Sale.
The Volunteer Non-Profit Service Association or VNSA works to raise funds for local non-profit human service agencies by hosting an annual used book sale, one of the largest used book sales in the country.VNSA’s warehouse and annual sale are help here in Phoenix.
When talking to Gayle Mort, a member of VNSA for 18 years and a member of the VNSA Board of Directors, she describes the general goal of the program as a dedication to “enriching the lives of people who may not have opportunities that many of us take for granted.”
With all members of the staff working on a volunteer, non-paid basis, the group is in full control of all steps of the process. From collecting the donated books and preparing them for sale, to organizing and publicizing the sale, VNSA offers many opportunities to get involved. Since 1957, VNSA has donated more than $6 million dollars to local agencies to help fight illiteracy in the United States.
Throughout my time working with VNSA, I have volunteered in the warehouse sorting and organizing books specific to particular topics, authors, the books’ condition and age groups in addition to working at the actual book sale that always takes place the second weekend in February. I loved working in the warehouse – one of my passions is cooking, and they let me work with the head of the cookbook category. I spent days sorting and pricing all different kind of cookbooks!
VNSA makes it easy for anyone to get involved, whether that means volunteering your time or even donating some old books for the sale.They have drop off spots at the warehouse along with other spots around the valley. They work all year organizing and collecting for the sale and they are always looking for more volunteers.
Carol Carnicky, a current VNSA book sales co chair who has been involved with the organization for close to 16 years, commented, “I joined VNSA in 1996 and discovered an organization that cared about and gave back to the local community. This is important to me because when I volunteer, I need to believe that it benefits my neighbors. It means so much to me personally that I can put books into the hands of others who never could otherwise afford them. Compensation is watching a young child buy a book with the coins in his hand and see the happiness on his or her face. This is what VNSA is about.”
Visit my resources page or blog roll for links to VNSA and some other good sites and blogs to check out!
Check back to see which charity I feature next!