Volunteer & Donate

Become a part of the Literacy Mid-South family!

An estimated 120,000 adults in Memphis are not able to read well enough to fill out a job application or read to their children.  Their lives are often marked by isolation and dependence on others.

In all the challenges facing individuals in the Mid-South, literacy is a big part of the solution.  You can help by volunteering, donating, or simply telling others about what we do in the community.  We need your help to ensure that we reach as many people as possible.  This is life-changing work, and we want you to be involved.

Your Gift of Time or Financial Resources Matters

Ways to Give

If you have any questions about ways to support Literacy Mid-South, need help customizing a campaign, or would like to schedule a Literacy Mid-South staff member to attend or speak at your event, please contact our Community Relations Manager at 901-601-9692.

Corporate Giving

There are several ways to get your workplace involved in supporting Literacy Mid-South:

  • Host a company-wide fundraiser, such as a Dress Down Day
  • Sponsor a Literacy Mid-South special event
  • Volunteer as a group for one of our special events
  • Coordinate an employee book drive

Your company can truly make an investment in the future of our community by giving back to Literacy Mid-South. Our team is happy to visit your workplace to talk with your employees, and share information about Literacy Mid-South. We’re also available to help customize engagement opportunities that best fit your company’s needs and vision.

Book Drives

Literacy Mid-South is proud to distribute over 10,000 brand-new books throughout the community each year. Our team provides books to nonprofit partners through the Smart Memphis Coalition, hosts book giveaways within underserved schools, and restocks Little Free Libraries around the city. Our team is happy to attend your Book Drive kick-off, and provide promotional materials.

Due to the nature of our book distributions, we are unable to accept donations of used books.

Easy Ways to Give Back!

Literacy Mid-South relies on the generosity of Mid-Southerners to provide funding for all our literacy programs. We serve over 50,000 Mid-Southerners each year, and we couldn’t do it without you.

  • Become a Literacy Leader with a recurring monthly gift to Literacy Mid-South. A monthly donation is convenient, and saves money on postage and processing fees. The guaranteed income provides stability for Literacy Mid-South for years to come. Just click here to get started!
  • If you’re a Kroger shopper, click here to register your Plus Card, and to select Literacy Mid-South as your Community Rewards organization. We’ll earn money anytime you shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card!(Organization Number: 10209)
  • If you’re a Superlo shopper, click here to register your Community Card, and to select Literacy Mid-South as your Community Card organization. We’ll earn up to 3% of your purchase amount anytime you shop at Superlo and swipe your Community Card! (Group ID: 155755189)
  • If you're an eReader, link your Amazon account to Literacy Mid-South through the AmazonSmile program, and we’ll receive up to 0.5% of your eligible purchase amounts. Click here to get started!

Special Events

Literacy Mid-South hosts several special events each year, to raise vital funds for our literacy programming and to create a greater awareness of our organization. Our special events wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our corporate and foundation sponsors, and our amazing team of special event volunteers. For more information on each special event, please click below. To join our team of special event volunteers, please contact Knox Shelton, Community Relations Manager, at 901-601-9692 or kshelton [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org.

Why support Literacy Mid-South?  Because literacy can change our city in ways you'd never expect:

  1. Reduction in crime
    For every ten offenders in our prison system, seven cannot read this sentence.  That's right.  Seventy percent of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency. 
  2. More capable workforce
    Imagine trying to apply for a job online, read the warnings on a forklift, or even crafting an email if you can't read.  By enabling a new generation of literate children and adults, we're ensuring a brighter future in Memphis.
  3. Lowered healthcare costs
    It is estimated that illiteracy costs taxpayers and insurance holders $1 billion dollars a year in added costs.  If you are literate, you are more likely to have a primary care provider, read your prescriptions correctly, and access preventative services to reduce the likelihood of illness.   
  4. A better city
    Illiteracy costs Memphis an estimated $120 million in lost tax revenue due to incarceration and increased healthcare costs.  Leadership in the Mid-South region is attempting to build a workforce that attracts and retains growth companies in our targeted industries (biotech, advanced manufacturing, and logistics), but how can we help our city grow if so many of our adults are unemployable?

Literacy Mid-South receives no federal, state, or city funding and relies upon individual donors to fund almost half of our annual budget.  Please give generously.  This is your opportunity to help set the course for our community for years to come. Our services help individuals become better parents, more productive employees, and engaged citizens who give back to their communities.