Renewing dreams: How the gift of literacy empowers York’s community

Tom and Cindy Donley are being recognized as honorary chairs during the March 1 kickoff of the 11th Annual Literacy Empowerment Campaign. They hope others see how important it is to give back to the York County Literacy Council. “We believe that love, faith, hard work, and literacy are needed to successfully pursue your dreams,” Tom says. “Never give up on your dreams.” (Our YorkMedia)

For years, Tom Donley watched his parents live a life focused on giving back. He saw them reshape their community, from supporting the local hospital to leading the public library and providing community services for children.  

One of their main focuses, Tom says, was literacy, and it’s a gift he will never take for granted. 

“My parents set an example for me how important education is and to do everything you can to help others get it,” he says. “Becoming literate is a necessity. And for people to be able to renew and realize that dream is a huge win-win for people and our community. We are excited that now our children support the literacy council and are involved in our Foundation, as well.” 

Today, Tom and his wife, Cindy, embody a similar spirit of philanthropy supporting the York County Literacy Council, an organization that teaches English as a second language, helps adults earn their GEDs, and provides various other services. 

“The need is so great,” Cindy says. “We’ve watched these adult learners grow as people, employees, and parents. It’s a thrill.”  

“Becoming literate is a necessity. And for people to be able to renew and realize that dream is a huge win-win for people and our community.”

The York couple’s personal contributions along with Donley Foundation grants have fueled the York County Literacy Council for years.   

That dedication led Tom and Cindy to be named honorary chairs of the upcoming 11th Annual Literacy Empowerment Campaign, which kicks off March 1. 

“I am so proud of our organization,” Tom says. “Compared to other literacy councils, York’s is a model of stability. We achieve tremendous results with very limited resources. And we can do so much more with a broader base of commitment and support.” 

For Cindy, a children’s book author with a career in special education, the key is to make learning fun, while providing encouragement for the hard work required.  

“By supporting the Literacy Council, we’ve seen people find quality jobs, continue their education, and become better parents,” Cindy says. “Our lives have been blessed by seeing all that the York County Literacy Council has accomplished.”  

Story paid for by the York County Literacy Council

 Call: 717-845-8719

 Address: 800 E. King Street York, PA 17403

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