Many people want to volunteer, but so often people simply can’t seem to find the time. Between juggling demands at the office and at home, it can feel nearly impossible to make giving back to your community a priority.
It’s that exact conundrum that originally attracted Marvin Anderson to “Everybody Wins!” back in 1996. As the Minnesota State Law Librarian at the time, the national children’s literacy and mentoring nonprofit’s mission resonated with Marvin. The goal: building the skills and love of reading among low-income elementary students—“One child. One Mentor. One book at a time.”
A long-time client of The Private Client Reserve, Marvin’s involvement with “Everybody Wins!” started organically. With the “Everybody Wins!” Power Lunch Reading Program as a guide, Marvin proposed that volunteers from the Judicial Branch go to a local elementary school during the lunch hour and be paired with a low-income student as a reading partner. “Unfortunately for a lot of these kids, their first encounter with the law is a negative one,” says Marvin. “I wanted to help change that model and introduce them to that environment as a positive, encouraging one where they are mentored and cared for.”
The response was overwhelming. The kids loved it. The employees participating as readers and mentors loved it. And “Everybody Wins!” became Marvin’s philanthropic passion. He began seeking out additional community partners and schools to participate. His wife Gloria got involved as a school coordinator. And momentum continued to build.
“Our goal is to ignite a love of reading in young people,” says Marvin. “It means so much to me to see the volunteers encourage the kids not only to read but to dream. As mentors, we’re helping these kids see that they can go beyond their circumstances and be anything they want to be.”
“My favorite part of Power Lunch is seeing the students wide-eyed and smiling when they see their partners after a few weeks of reading,” says Gloria.