This post originally appeared on Jim Fruchterman’s Beneblog.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimated earlier this year that about 3 million veterans, or 14 percent of the total veteran population, had a service-connected disability. For veterans with visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries or other disabilities, reading standard print is difficult, if not impossible. For them, Bookshare—Benetech’s Global Literacy initiative and the world’s largest accessible digital library for people with print disabilities—opens up a lifeline to reading.
Today through Friday, November 22nd, you can give disabled veterans the gift of reading via Bookshare by joining Benetech’s Bookshare for Veterans crowdfunding campaign.
This campaign is part of the Social Entrepreneurs Challenge, an effort launched by the Skoll Foundation in partnership with The Huffington Post and CrowdRise in order to support leading social enterprises. All the organizations participating in the Challenge are recipients of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. We’re honored to be included in this elite group of nonprofits known for their innovative approaches to tackling social problems.
Benetech’s Bookshare initiative was founded to improve the lives and learning of people with some of the biggest challenges—those with visual impairments, physical disabilities and/or learning disabilities that prevent them from reading books and information in most standard formats. We’re proud of our success bringing the benefits of Bookshare’s rapidly growing collection of accessible books to American students with print disabilities, but we’re nowhere near done.
Here in the United States, we’re especially focusing on expanding our efforts to help more disabled veterans. We now offer a free, 30-day Bookshare membership trial to qualified veterans and are using our first-ever crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness of and support for Bookshare’s benefits for veterans. The funds contributed through our Bookshare for Veterans Challenge will be used to enable our Bookshare team to expand its services and outreach to veterans who need access to books and information.
I’d like to thank everyone who has joined us in the Challenge so far. For those of you who haven’t made a gift yet—the Challenge closes this Friday, November 22nd at 11:59:59am ET and many veterans still need your help. Please consider supporting our cause by donating to and sharing our fundraiser with your friends, family and colleagues. You can donate on my Challenge Fundraising Team Member page.
This campaign is a wonderful, easy way to share our work and leverage your support even further with the matching gifts that the Skoll Foundation is generously extending to the Challenge participants.
We would love your support for our campaign today through November 22nd. Donations of any amount make a real difference when giving the gift of reading to our veterans. Thank you!