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For A Good Cause:

Volunteering for kids' literacy

Share Our Selves to host book donation as part of workers’ goal to boost literacy among children from the community.

April 09, 2008|By Sue Thoensen

Angela Meier knew the medical director at Share Our Selves, she had worked at the charity a couple of years ago, and the experience left a lasting impression.

So much so that when she and her three teammates taking a leadership training class were deciding on a plan for their community service project, Meier knew immediately that she wanted to work with Share Our Selves.

She just needed to come up with a way to help, and the idea for donating books to children came easily to her.

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Meier said her teammates focused on literacy because they believe it’s a basic foundation all children should have.

Everyone in the group said they remembered parents and family members reading a favorite book to them from when they were children.

“I’m such a learner and a reader, and this [project] would be a way that children [at Share Our Selves] could have something tangible to walk away with,” Meier said.

The group’s vision was that “every child in need has a book in hand, a dream in mind and is a leader at heart,” and when the Leadership Academy 2 group presents its book donation to the children at Share Our Selves Friday, it will have achieved its goal.

Share Our Selves is a Costa-Mesa based nonprofit founded in 1970 that provides for the needs of those living in poverty in Orange County.

Medical and dental care, counseling, case management, food, clothing, financial assistance, legal aid and special holiday programs are offered free of charge to needy families.

Leadership Academy 2 is a 13-week program focusing on community service that is part of Maximum Results Trainings, which provides executive coaching and leadership training.

Lewis Rengifo is the director of the academy and, while he acknowledged being a little biased, he believes the emphasis on community involvement is what makes this the best leadership program around.

“I’m very proud of the program. They don’t win if the community doesn’t win,” Rengifo said, adding that this group — a group with only four members — is doing an incredible job of getting the job done.

“I’ve got to hand it to them. They’ve talked to everyone they know, and I’m sure they’ll exceed the promise they made,” he said.

The academy team’s goal is to collect 5,000 books. Because two of the group’s members are from Northern California, half the books will be given to Books For Little Hands in San Jose.

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