Get Involved

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

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?

Almost 15% of Shelby County adults are at the most basic literacy level, and 22% function at a marginally higher level. Many struggle to complete job applications successfully, much less to ready themselves to be members of the new workforce.  Your gift is the beginning of many good things to come. Our services help individuals become better parents, more productive employees, and engaged citizens who give back to their communities.

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.