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The Office of Letters and Light
February 20, 2012

The Office of Letters and Light is an organization dedicated to service. It makes a difference in the world of literacy. We get pep talks from best selling authors. We get organized to meet in groups, make friends, and talk book talk. I love NaNoWriMo so much that I have done it for 3 years (two straight, then one I took off because I was a college freshman with too much on my plate, then another in college.) It is such a great way to raise literacy rates in schools, which the Office supports with classroom materials and help, and in adults, who aren't reading or writing as much as they should either. We have several "chapters" within easy driving distance of where I live. I have the flexibility I need. Even though I haven't met the people in the Office, I still feel like I'm friends with them. Besides learning how to write better and the pleasure I get from story telling, NaNoWriMo also helped me strengthen my organizational skills, learn perseverance, made writing exciting, gave me a sense of accomplishment, and provided a wholesome recreational activity for a whole month, both in solitary but also in social settings. The teen demographic is high in the organization. Shouldn't that be encouraged?

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my college career. I'm an English major. My storytelling abilities have increased dramatically. I even took second place in the English Department Writing Awards for fiction! I'm sure the practice, the help I got from talking to others, the encouragement all made the difference.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Really? It's pretty darn good. The Night of Writing Dangerously is fab, of course, but so far away--how about another in a central location as well, like Colorado? Or Chicago, which has a TON of members?

More feedback

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

How did you find this group?

Word of mouth. Obviously, their internet prescence was enormously helpful to get me interested as well.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

They have encouraged me to live my dream and write! They have also encouraged me not to worry about failure. They sing the praises of people who don't finish their novels as well, not because they are celebrating mediocrity, but rather because they recognize that it took daring to try (it really does) and we need to worry less about looking ridiculous.

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I wrote novels! I received inspiration! I had a great time!.

REINS OF LIFE INC
March 1, 2011

Two of my brothers and one of my sisters and I all volunteer at Reins of Life. This is a hippotherapy center for people with special needs. We are so excited about this place. We try to get everyone to volunteer there.
Since 1978 volunteers have been assisting during more than 3,000 hours of lessons per year. The organization helps children and adults reach their full potential by having them ride horses.
The lessons teach focus, direction following skills, coordination, and help stretch muscles and improve balance.
Over 500 riders per year participate. Reins of Life helps individuals who come from as far away as 100 miles. There are very few organizations like this one. I see the same riders a lot because they find the experience to be so beneficial.
The riders sometimes become very close friends with the volunteers. One rider was a flowergirl in her sidewalker's wedding.
I am a “side walker,” so prevent riders from falling, engage them in conversation, and assist during activities. I love to chat with the riders. It's easy to speak abstractly about "appreciating differences," but when I'm with the riders, I really learn how. I am so happy I can help them reach their full potential with their abilities and physical health.
Reins of Life receives no government or insurance funding.
Reins of Life subsists on fundraisers, the small lesson fees, and donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations. The horses are donated.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I learned to appreciate people with special needs more while helping them reach their full potential

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to make the lessons a little longer--even 15 minutes more.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

They're so appreciative! No change needed!

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Helped me learn to interact with people with special needs more effectively

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel like I am making a difference. Everyone is so pleasant and fun!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I helped with lessons.

The Office of Letters and Light
February 19, 2011

Last year is the third year I participated in the Office of Letters and Light's program National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. This program inspired me to be creative. Writing 50,000 words of fiction in one month is pretty hard, but it is well worth the effort. I could not have done it without the Office. They provided immense support for me: forums, peptalks from famous authors--Holly Black, Dave Eggers, John Green, Lemony Snicket--interactive webpages, and organized "write-ins" where participants like myself could gather to write together. All the time they were cheerful, energetic, and supportive. They believed that every participant could write a novel. I felt like a real writer in a real writing world. So did my friends. After participating in this event, I felt inspired to try some more things that I felt before were too hard or "only for talented people." I have joined a club and am working on revising my novel. The Office of Letters and Light is fantastic!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

A joined a club, wrote a novel, felt connected to other writers

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make a forum section for college students

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I would include a forum section for college students

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I reached my creative potential! I felt inspired to be a writer.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I felt energized and satisfied. I felt like I could be a real writer.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Participated in the event, received support from them.

Review from Guidestar