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Room to Read & The Girl Effect

Posted Oct 22 2013 3:30pm

You might remember from way back in May that my company partners with Room to Read as part of it Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. I always love opportunities to volunteer with charitable organizations, so every time an event comes up with Room to Read I am eager to help out.

Room to Read is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world. Through their fund-raising efforts, they are able to write children’s books in many languages, build libraries all over the world, and pay for children to attend school. They mainly focus on encouraging girls to stay in school, since girls in many under-developed countries drop out of school early to help out their families at home.

Throughout the fall, my company is hosting free happy hours for the DC chapter of Room to Read. I helped volunteer at the second one this past Thursday, and it was so much fun!


My job was to welcome people into my building’s main lobby, and then bring them up to our office.

In my opinion, this was one of the best jobs of the night because I got to spend a few minutes with each attendee and talk to them about why they volunteer with Room to Read. I wound up hearing some really interesting responses and was really glad I got to talk to everyone. Some of the attendees were women who came from under-developed countries themselves, and are now successful businesswomen here in DC! So cool! 

At the beginning of the happy hour, everyone mingled around for a while enjoying snacks and beverages. Then the manager of the DC chapter, Craig Herb, began the main presentation. 


 [Note, this picture is from the last happy hour my company hosted back in September]

Craig is a really great speaker, and I have been lucky enough to hear him a bunch of times now. His presentations are always really inspiring and make me want to donate to the cause.

Check out this quick video  (embedded below) from The Girl Effect that demonstrates exactly why helping out young girls in under-developed countries is so important.

This is just one of the incredibly empowering videos Craig showed us. A lot of them made us teary-eyed and emotional. When you hear stories from women like Malala  who have had to fight so hard just to be able to go to school it makes you realize just how lucky you are.


After Craig was done talking to us about what’s been happening recently at Room to Read and explaining how we can all get involved, we had another chance to walk around and mingle for a bit.



Then we played a game of Jeopardy! The categories were a mix of topics- DC trivia, influential women, Room to Read, etc. It was really fun, and my team almost won, but we lost in the last few minutes. Too bad.

The evening was also a really nice way to bond with my coworkers!


The evening wrapped up around 8:00 pm and I stayed a bit later to help clean up. Even though I got home from work pretty late and felt exhausted when I finally got home, it was such a rewarding event and I’m so glad I was able to help out.

At the next happy hour in December they’ll be showing the film  Girl Rising , which I am dying to see, so I hope to be able to volunteer again!

If you have any interest in donating to Room to Read, you can do so here . If you’d like to come to our next happy hour or hear about how you can get involved in your area, just leave a comment below!

Question of the day: What organizations are you passionate about?



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