Community, Here to Help

The Giving Edition: SMART Reading seeking volunteers

SPRINGFIELD — Reading is a critical skill for helping kids start, and stay, on a path to success in school and beyond. Across Oregon, students in early grades are still behind in reading skills as a result of the pandemic, which is a concern not only for educators and parents, but for the entire community. SMART Reading, a statewide children’s literacy nonprofit, is committed to providing two key ingredients to support young readers: individualized reading time and access to books.

In the 2022-23 school year, SMART Reading reopened its in-person reading programs after providing virtual support during the pandemic. Now, with the 2023-24 school year underway, SMART is poised to reach 1,175 students in Lane County and give away over 13,500 books. To do that, the organization needs more community members to sign up to volunteer. 

Volunteers are needed to fill two important roles: 

Readers who are paired with the same child or classroom weekly, sharing the joy of reading, building confidence, and helping set students up for a lifetime of success.

Site coordinators who act as SMART’s on-the-ground leads at each site, oversee and implement the weekly reading sessions.

“We are very excited to keep supporting early literacy and a love for reading for the kids in our community,” says Laurie McNichols, SMART Reading South Valley area director. “Both volunteer readers and site coordinators are the key to being able to keep our programs running.”

Volunteer readers spend an hour a week reading with PreK through third-grade children, and site coordinators spend two to eight hours each week leading the program at their site. To learn more about this fun and rewarding experience, please contact your local SMART office at 541-600-8035, or visit our website at

UO  Surplus Furniture available to nonprofits

UO Surplus is supporting nonprofits through donation of University of Oregon office furniture for reuse. Common items include office desks, executive desks, chairs, file cabinets, minifridges, microwaves, and more.

See the inventory:

If your nonprofit needs some office equipment, contact [email protected] or 541-999-4173 to set up a time to visit the warehouse and have a look. For free donation, UO Surplus will require a copy of your nonprofit status letter and some simple paperwork.

UO Surplus Furniture public sales

All items are heavily discounted in an effort to prevent waste, most items are $1-5 and there are weekly sales on desks and file cabinets. Sales are weekly, every Thursday from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at 2020 Franklin Blvd., near 15th and Orchard streets. More info on website: More info: call or text 541-999-4173 or email: [email protected].

Giving Tree project underway

Eugene Active 20-30 Club has launched its “Giving Tree” project at the Valley River Mall located between JCPenney and Cafe Aroma. With a goal to collect over 2,000 gifts during the project, the club will have about 2,500 ornaments this year. The ornaments have a list of children’s needs.  “We could use the community’s support to make sure every ornament is taken and shopped for so every kid has a gift this holiday season,”  said Mike Kingsley, public relations chair for the club. Eugene Active 20-30 Club partners with about 10 different nonprofits to make this project work.



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