Letter to the Editor

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Dear Editor,

Since 1974, National Volunteer Week has focused attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service. From April 21 to 27, it's a time to celebrate the people and organizations that do amazing work through service.

Volunteers are the bread and butter of nonprofit organizations like ours, Breakthrough New York. Over our 14-year history, we've been fortunate to receive the help of countless people who've walked through our doors to help our students.

On behalf of our organization, I want to say "Thank you."

We want to extend our thanks to the wonderful, passionate, creative, diligent, caring, and compassionate volunteers who've mentored, tutored, shepherded and elevated our students, many of whom hail from Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Manhattan.

So, dear readers, let's spread the love on this occasion in these ways:

Lend a hand.

Find a project in your community where you can devote time. At Breakthrough, we just completed two Interview Days ? a feat that could not have been accomplished without dozens of volunteers who questioned more than 200 students.

Lend an ear.

Listen to the needs of others - and respond. As we've learned at Breakthrough, many of our students have potential but need more guidance and support. Often, they need to talk with someone who understands the help they need.

Lend a heart.

Small actions can yield big results. By showing others that you give selflessly and thoughtfully, they become motivated as well. That's why many of our Breakthrough students volunteer during high school to tutor and mentor our middle school kids.

To mark National Volunteer Week, I encourage your readers to please consider not only thanking volunteer ? but to join in themselves. Together, we can engender a longstanding commitment to help others achieve a world of success.

Rhea Wong

Executive Director

Breakthrough New York


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