#AlwaysThere: A Special Wedding Gift

Through the end of the year, we’ll be sharing stories that demonstrate our year-end campaign theme: #AlwaysThere. It’s what inspires Reach’s work, and it’s what we try to be for our kids. We hope you’ll use #AlwaysThere to tell us your stories using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And, when so inspired, we hope you’ll visit www.reachincorporated.org/alwaysthere to make a contribution.

All month, we’re sharing #AlwaysThere stories about the way that strong relationships lead to more positive outcomes. But, part of Reach’s work – our efforts to diversify children’s literature – is about supporting people who will remain strangers. How can we be #AlwaysThere for people we’ll never meet?

Joe, Kim, and Graham are great examples of that idea. They all met through their work with Reach. As committed supporters and regular volunteers, these three people came to know each other. And, over time, friendships developed.


Graham, Kim, and Joe (pictured here with two unidentified wedding crashers) at Mark and Elizabeth’s wedding.

A couple months ago, Reach’s founder (Mark) got married. Wanting to make a special gift, this trio of terrific people began thinking of ways to celebrate Mark’s marriage to his wife, Elizabeth, in a way that was meaningful to all.

It was at that time that a local group, DC Books to Prisons, received approval to distribute Reach’s children’s books to visitor waiting rooms in the federal prison system. All we needed was funding. Working with our publishing partners, Shout Mouse Press, the three friends made a gift.

In the coming months, five of Reach’s books will be distributed to all 120 federal prisons where DC citizens serve time – 600 books in total! When children visit incarcerated family members, they will be able to read books authored by Reach teens and published by our friends at Shout Mouse Press.

Joe will never meet the kids that read these books. Kim will likely never hear anyone thank her. Graham won’t get to see the young readers enjoying the books. But, all the same, they chose to be #AlwaysThere in a really powerful way for young people visiting loved ones in federal prisons. And, with their help, Reach and Shout Mouse will be able to bring comfort at a time when it’s needed the most.

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