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From Bucket List to Birthday Wish: The Gift of Giving Back

From Bucket List to Birthday Wish: The Gift of Giving Back

By Rebecca B


Have you ever stopped to consider your bucket list? That curated collection of dreams and aspirations? Mine used to be filled with the usual suspects - cool vacations, dreamy home renovations, meet-and-greets with inspiring figures. But as a milestone birthday loomed, I craved something more meaningful, something that resonated deeper.

Enter the TTEC Foundation's employee grant program. This incredible initiative allowed me to transform my bucket list from a collection of wants to a testament to the power of giving back.

A Grant for Literacy: Filling a Crucial Need

Thanks to the co-sponsorship of 25 amazing teammates, I secured a $3,000 grant through the TTEC Foundation. This grant funded a project close to my heart - providing books for two third-grade classrooms in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. The Osborn School District caters to a community where 88% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Here, the Osborn School District Educational Foundation plays a vital role, supplementing traditional funding and ensuring a well-rounded educational experience for all students, regardless of socioeconomic background.

One of the Foundation's core programs, "Kids Read," particularly resonated with me. This program fosters home literacy by providing third graders with five reading books to take home and share with their families. However, unlike other programs, "Kids Read" lacked a dedicated funding stream. This is where our grant came in.

The Ripple Effect of Reading

The impact of this project went far beyond the $3,000 itself. Research consistently highlights the critical role of books in the home. Studies show that having access to print materials is the single biggest indicator of academic success, even surpassing factors like parental education or income level. Furthermore, recent research suggests the unique advantages of physical books compared to digital formats. Students who read physical books tend to score higher on reading comprehension tests than those who rely solely on digital devices.

By providing these books, we weren't just offering reading material; we were empowering students to build home libraries, fostering a culture of reading within families. Osborn also organizes guest reader events, and I was warmly welcomed to participate by educators Ms. Aguirre and Mr. Hernandez. This presented a fantastic opportunity to not only donate books but also share the joy of reading with these young minds.


Unexpected Delights: Lessons Learned

As this project unfolded, it brought with it several unexpected delights that filled my metaphorical bucket to overflowing:

The Importance of Reading in the Home: Witnessing firsthand the vital role books play in a child's development was a powerful reminder. If you could have seen the smiles on their faces when they picked their book out to take home, it would have melted your heart.

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone: My heart started racing at the idea of reading to 60+ kids! I thought I’d rather present to coworkers or do a LinkedIn Live – however this was one of the best days of the year for me. All the nerves when away when I stepped up and saw their eager faces, ready to read together! This proved that stepping outside the comfort zone can be incredibly rewarding.

The Power of Time Investment: While I thought the grant itself was fantastic, it was equally appreciated that TTEC allowed me the time to head to the event. The time investment as a reader yielded fulfillment far greater than I anticipated.

A Birthday Wish Come True

Class Pic

Seeing the joy on the faces of these children as they received their books and participated in picnic reading sessions was truly heartwarming. This experience, facilitated by the TTEC Foundation grant program, was truly the best birthday present I could have wished for. It served as a powerful reminder that birthday wishes do come true, not always in the way we expect, but often in a way that leaves a lasting impact.

The Call to Action: Filling Buckets Together

Perhaps this story resonates with you. Maybe you're inspired to add "giving back" to your own bucket list. The good news is, there are countless ways to make a difference, big or small. Consider volunteering your time, donating to a cause you care about, or simply reaching out to someone in need. With TTEC? Head to Mosaic to learn more about the TTEC Foundation. Remember, even the smallest acts of kindness can have a ripple effect, leaving a positive mark on the world around us.

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