Giving Back

Business Jet Traveler » June 2013
Patrick Chung, player for the New England Patriots, reads to children in Boston at the Macy’s store. Macy’s is a long-time sponsor of RIF.
Patrick Chung, player for the New England Patriots, reads to children in Boston at the Macy’s store. Macy’s is a long-time sponsor of RIF.
Monday, May 13, 2013 - 8:15am

BJT readers—who represent one of the highest-net-worth magazine audiences anywhere—clearly have the means to contribute to a better world. To help you do that, we’re spotlighting one deserving organization per issue. All of them have received a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which evaluates philanthropic institutions based on their finances, accountability and transparency.

In this era of information-overload, it’s perhaps as astonishing as it is sad that approximately 30 million Americans and one billion people worldwide have never even learned to read or write. Here, we spotlight two U.S.-based literacy organizations that are making a difference, one person at a time.

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., in Washington, D.C., prepares and motivates children to read by delivering books and literacy resources to the kids and families who need them most. Through volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.5 million children with 16 million books and literacy resources each year. All RIF programs combine three essential elements to foster children’s literacy: reading motivation, family and community involvement and the excitement of choosing free books to keep.

Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition works to ensure that every child and adult in Palm Beach County, Florida, becomes a reader. The group manages a literacy hotline, referring adults to programs throughout the county where they can receive the help they need. In addition, an outreach program recruits and trains volunteer tutors to serve adult learners at numerous community locations.

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““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”

-—actor and comedian Ricky Gervais