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Money for Readers

The Loudoun Literary Council once again has a great friend in the form of an anonymous donor. This year, a Loudoun couple has pledged $10,000 as a matching gift for the council. Last year, they did the same thing. And again this year, just like last, the only catch to the council receiving the generous donation is that it must raise the same amount of money and so, once again, the literacy council is holding the December Double Dollar Campaign.

"We must raise the money by the end of the month," Barbara Notar, executive director of the Loudoun Literacy Council, said. "It closes midnight on Dec. 31."

In order to receive the $10,000 pledge, the council must raise the money only within the month of December, which, Notar said, means none of the projects the group was working on before Dec. 1 count. There is another requirement as well.

"This money can only come from individuals," Notar said. "It is all about community support for organizations like ours. It’s important."

WHILE LAST YEAR the money raised was needed to save the literacy program, Notar said the organization is not nearly in the dire financial straits it was. This year’s money, however, is just as needed, she added.

The money brought in will go towards expanding the adult literacy programs, including adding English as a Second Language classes.

"The demand for the services is just great," Claire Allinson, a member of the council’s board, said. "I know there are a lot of people out there waiting for our services. This, because of this wonderful donor, is another opportunity to get some money for the resources we need and to get our name out there in the community."

Allinson, who only joined the board this summer, said she is surprised by how much people want the services the council provides.

"Each week I meet with my student and it is just wonderful," she said. "These are people who are trying to do something for themselves. They are not looking for a handout."

TO HELP RAISE the money, the literacy council has been participating in a variety of alternative gift fairs throughout the county, including churches in Lansdowne, Leesburg and Purcellville. At the alternative gift fairs, people make donations to a charity in someone else’s name.

"Then they give that person a card that says we donated on your behalf," Notar said.

So far, the council has raised just over $6,500, leaving it with $3,500 to collect in the last two weeks of December before it receives the matching pledge.

"We’re on a really good platform to launch from," Allison said.

As for the anonymous donor, Notar said, while they are known to her, they wish to remain anonymous.

"He is a great friend to the literacy council," she said. "He is just a very philanthropic man, it is just a very philanthropic family."