My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for The Office of Letters and Light, Berkeley, CA, USA
I have participated in the OLL's primary program, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for six years now, and this previous year I volunteered as a Municipal Liaison in my region. I've seen people who were convinced they weren't writers, weren't creative, and would never be able to manage to write 50,000 words in a single month (the goal of NaNoWriMo) far exceed their own expectations of themselves. I've experienced that phenomenon myself, as well. I have also seen the program build strong connections and friendships between people, and bring them together not only to better themselves and the world through their writing, but their own communities and the world through shared action and group goals.
The OLL inspires people to set goals for themselves, to believe in themselves, and to compete first and foremost against themself, rather than against others. They further literacy all around the world... not just the mechanical literacy of learning how to read and write, but creative literacy - learning how to touch people and be touched by people through creative written expression. They also further the positive development of the individual as a whole, by providing them with an achievable goal, as well as the support structure to reach that goal, thus proving to the participants themselves that they are capable, and strong, and creative people.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
For me, reaching the goal of 50000 words written in a month was life-changing. It wasn't that I had written some magnum opus of a novel that would become a best seller (though there have been those that have), but that I set a goal for myself, and then I persevered and achieved that goal. It gave me a newfound faith in myself and what I was capable of. It also gives me the opportunity each year to be wildly creative, and to play - something that many adults seem to overlook in their lives.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I'm not sure that I have any particular changes I would want to make. I really like the OLL the way it is. :)