Handbags for Hope generates $47,000 for literacy programs

The Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati (LNGC) netted $47,000 at its annual Handbags for Hope fundraiser last month, when about 400 people came together to honor those working to make Greater Cincinnati a more educated and empowered community. 

Highlights of the evening included recognition of key contributors, Chair Couples Ralph and Janelle Lee and Stan Williams and Kristi Clement-Williams, who raised more than $54,000 for Cincinnati youth in the past five years. Specifically, the couples named LNGC as the nonprofit recipient for the Fore Kids Golf Outing in 2015, pulling in $14,000 for programs like the Winners Read tutoring initiative, Winners Walk Tall (focusing on character building and children’s self esteem) and the Children’s Basic Reading Program. 

LNGC works closely with local schools but also makes it a point to focus on adult populations as well. Perhaps the most inspiring element of the night took place when Victoria Mitchell — a student in the Adult Basic Reading Program — took the stage to share her story and receive her 2016 Hope Award. 

Mitchell, who raises her twin grandsons, volunteers at their school and works at a local soup kitchen and food pantry, loves to sing and wanted nothing more than to join her church choir. Because of reading limitations, however, she worked to memorize the words to every song in the choir’s repertoire. 

“God gives you the gifts to make up for what you don’t have,” Mitchell said. 

As she continues to improve reading skills, Mitchell’s memory can take a breather, as she’s gaining both knowledge and confidence in her reading program. 

“No one is more deserving of the Hope Award than Victoria,” LNGC President Michelle Guenther said. “She is doing a wonderful job in class and is dedicated to learning to read. Her selflessness and perseverance in life serves as an example to all of us.”

Do Good: 

Support the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati.

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Read more articles by Brittany York.

Brittany York is a freelance writer, adjunct English composition instructor and server at Orchids at Palm Court. She loves travel and photography. Keep up with Brittany on Instagram @brittbrittbrittbrittany.
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