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This month’s Volunteer of the Month has been credited, by the nominator, with being the “the epitome of UWSWA’s slogan ‘Live United.’”  Congratulations to Shelli Bell, our August Volunteer of the Month! Jessica James, Executive director of McKemie Place, nominated Shelli. McKemie place is the only overnight shelter for single, homeless women in all of Mobile, Washington and Baldwin Counties, and Jessica describes Shelli as “the most valuable volunteer in the history of McKeme Place.”

This month’s Volunteer of the Month is special to us, as it comes from within our own office. Brad Martin, Program Coordinator for United Way of Southwest Alabama nominated this month’s Volunteer of the Month based on her high level of commitment to helping others and enriching the community. It is our pleasure to congratulate Alice Skelton, our July Volunteer of the Month!

Hurricane season has begun! The season is predicted to be an uneventful one, but it only takes one storm landing in our area to cause lasting damage. In the event of a local disaster, are you willing to volunteer your time, energy or supplies to get the community back on track? If so, fill out the disaster portion of your Volunteer Connect profile to be contacted in the event of a disaster about how you can help. It’s easy!

Our newest Volunteer of the Month comes to us by our partner agency, Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama. Kelly Hendricks, Special Events/Volunteer Coordinator for Salvation Army, was so impressed by this volunteer she couldn’t wait to send in the nomination. Congratulations to Maribeth Dennis, our June Volunteer of the Month!

Did you know that for every 50 children who do not learn to read in kindergarten, 44 of them will still have trouble in third grade?[i] And children without reading skills in third grade are less likely to graduate high school. In fact, research shows that early grade reading mastery is one of the best predictors of children’s success in school.[ii]  Unfortunately, many children enter school lacking the fundamental skills necessary to succeed, and children who start behind fall even farther behind.