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 Ford Team Member Goes Further to Support Local Literacy Project

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​DEARBORN - When the Ford IT Communications Team learned of their team member’s involvement in fundraising efforts for a literacy project at a local Dearborn-based charity, they encouraged Diane Sands to Go Further.

Sands, a Knowledge Management specialist, has been working as a volunteer to promote a literacy project fundraiser for Vista Maria, a non-profit care center that provides foster care, support, treatment and education to more than 1,000 high risk youth every year. Proceeds from the event will make it possible to provide books to the 150 girls who reside on Vista Maria Dearborn campus. Her co-workers suggested that the larger One Ford team might be interested in learning about the fundraiser, which will ultimately bring the joy of reading to the Vista Maria girls.

From Friday, Nov. 23 through Tuesday, Nov. 27, anyone who makes a purchase at a Barnes & Noble book store can request that their purchase amount be applied to the Vista Maria Book Fair fundraiser. 

Participation in the event costs shoppers nothing beyond their normal purchase amount. Shoppers simply present this code: Bookfair ID 10917136 at time of purchase and up to 25 percent of in store purchase amounts (and 10 percent of online purchase amounts) will be set aside for Vista Maria to use to purchase books for the young girls to enjoy. 

The Barnes & Noble store in Allen Park is sponsoring the event, but purchases can be made in any Barnes & Noble store in the U.S. or online at BarnesandNoble.com.

Sands, is a long time member of the Lit Ladies, a Farmington-area book club that initiated the Vista Maria Reads literacy project in June 2012. “Our goal from the beginning has been to empower girls through reading," explained Sands.

The Lit Ladies, small in number (11 members) but with big aspirations, began by collecting several hundred books from the family and friends for their first Vista Maria Reads book fair. They set up tables, onsite at the Vista Maria Community Center and organized the donated books by genre. One Lit Lady, with help from her daughters, made hundreds of homemade cookies to be given away with the books. Each girl who visited the book fair was allowed to select a book to keep along with a cookie or two. 

The Vista Maria Reads Book Fair was a big hit with the girls. Becky Herrmann, Vista Maria’s associate manager of Volunteer Resources, said the girls have responded very positively to the book fair experience. She said, “The books provide the girls with a good escape, allowing them personal and quiet time that they need. They very excited about getting more books at the next Vista Maria Reads Book Fair.”

Encouraged by the success of the summer book fair, the Lit Ladies began publishing a monthly newsletter for the girls, ”Vista Maria Reads”, which offers book reviews (some which originate from the girls), short articles geared to encouraged reading, puzzles and reading trivia.

Having exhausted their original source of book donations, the Lit Ladies were thrilled to learn of the book fair fundraising promotion available through Barnes & Noble book stores. They are counting on it to fund a second Vista Maria Reads Book Fair planned for early January 2013.

Sands is taking a positive can-do attitude about the event. “I believe that the community and especially the One Ford team will support this project and ensure that we will have the books we need to share with young girls who might otherwise miss out on the joy of reading.”

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11/20/2012 6:00 AM