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2 reviews

Review for Simply Smiles Inc, Westport, CT, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

Simply Smiles is an organization that puts the community members at the center of all they do. From the beginning, the community has been part of making decisions, offering ideas, and articulating needs. A similar philosophy is what is foundation to the department I direct, so I value so much how Simply Smiles does what they do. Being on the Res and meeting members of the communities brought a new understanding of what connection means at its core. I was honored to be part of the first summer of full day camp where I was able to meet amazing and talented youth and get to know them through activities that they love -- tie dye, basketball, baseball, swings, etc. It was special to have the opportunity to spend time with elders and meet families. After being on the Res myself I feel very confident continuing to send groups of student volunteers to South Dakota. I know their experience will be full, they will grow as people, they will give their whole hearts, and they will be ready to return to our campus equipped as advocates and allies. Thank you La Plant and Simply Smiles.

Role:  Volunteer

Review for Committee on Temporary Shelter, Burlington, VT, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteering with the COTS Literacy program has been a truly wonderful experience. I volunteered with COTS almost 10 years ago and then moved away from the area. I am now back in Burlington and found my way at COTS for a second time. COTS is an organization that is absolutely mission driven which is evident in the staff, the programs offered, and the clients. Working with primary school children to develop literacy and a love for books is amazing. The children are so excited when I get there each week and often run to their rooms to get their reading name tags. They love listening to me read AND really enjoy me listening to them read. They are exicted to hear feedback from me and even welcome me correcting pronunciation of words. When I read, the children often climb up on the couch and snuggle into my arm or lay on my lap to listen. It is clear they enjoy the time and that they take so much from the hour we spend together. Each Monday I look forward to heading to Main Street to see the children and to bring them the books I've chosen from the Library that week. We each choose 2 books we want to read and off we go. The children laugh at funny parts, ask questions about pictures, count items they see on the page, and try to mimick their school teachers when they read to me. I, on the other hand, smile when I see them, laugh with them at funny parts, ask them questions about the pictures, and give out high fives when they finish their reading! It's only an hour each Monday and it is great, but it never feels like enough time.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The way they connect to their mission through every program and in working with every volunteer and client.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

caring, invested, and dedicated.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Volunteer & I work with children on a literacy program. We read together on a weekly basis. Children earn stars by the number of books they read with me.