Leadership Council Connecting our Community

Feb 19, 2024 | Cradle to Career Team, Early Grade Literacy, News

Your fridge is our priority!

 Leadership Council Member Chris Edwards of Tucson Appliance connects Sharon O’Brien of Literacy Connects with a needed appliance

Sometimes amazing things happen from chance conversations. One of our goals at Cradle to Career is to help our leaders connect so that they can collaborate to achieve our shared goals, and we saw this happen with two of our members recently. 

The seeds of this remarkable collaboration were sown during a recent Connect to Community (C2C) meeting, where O’Brien shared with Edwards the mission of Literacy Connects. Edwards was very impressed with how important reading is for people to succeed academically and in their career. Chris said that if she ever needed an appliance to let him know.

Two months later the refrigerator at Literacy Connects Youth Center quit working. The Youth Center is where young people get the opportunity to improve their reading and comprehension skills. The refrigerator keeps the snacks and drinks cold for the young people to enjoy, and as we all know when young people are “refreshed” they focus better! A new refrigerator wasn’t in O’Brien’s budget and she remembered Edwards offer so she reached out to him through Basecamp.

Edwards responded in minutes, expressing not only his willingness to help but his strong commitment to the cause. The next day, Miguel, an employee of Tucson Appliance, connected with Literacy Connects to discuss options. Miguel said that the appliance replacement would be provided as a donation! O’Brien was thrilled and very grateful for the generous support.

The Youth Center team was very happy, because no one likes warm drinks! As the Youth Center team celebrated the delivery of their new refrigerator, O’Brien took the opportunity to get to know Miguel from Tucson Appliance.  Miguel shared that he grew up in the Amphi Neighborhood just across the street from Literacy Connects. He fondly recalled receiving a free car seat at one of Literacy Connects’ neighborhood resource fairs, and how important that was for him and how excited he was to be delivering the fridge to an organization that helped him and so many other people.

O’Brien asked him how he liked working at Tucson Appliance, (which could be a dangerous question!), and Miguel said he loved it. He also said his favorite part of his job was when he got to deliver appliances to organizations like Literacy Connects that were meeting the needs of our community.

This heartening story serves as a testament to the strength of Leadership Council partnerships and the profound impact that community leaders can have when they unite with a common purpose. O’Brien and Edwards exemplify the ethos of the Leadership Council, demonstrating that collaborative efforts can create lasting positive change for the benefit of local youth.