In honour of Thelma, my publisher and I will donate $1 for every book purchased in 2020 to Read Saskatoon, the literacy change-maker in our community.
Thelma always believed in the power of reading. She read to her children, even when they could read themselves. When they left home, Thelma found herself in a mid-life depression, searching for new meaning in her life. She volunteered to read to seniors at the care home on her street. Listening to her read seemed to open the floodgates on their own stories. Thelma saw the pride and joy in their faces, and she wanted to capture that in photographs. The rest, as they say, is history…
Three major exhibitions (and a fourth coming up), Saskatchewan Order of Merit, a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, and countless admirers of her positive message of creativity and following your passions to your destiny. As she said, at the age of 99, “It’s a good thing I found myself, or I would not be here today.”
Sheryl Harrow-Yurach, CEO of ReadSaskatoon: “We know one in three Saskatchewan adults struggle daily with reading and writing. Strong literacy skills are foundational to an individual’s economic, social, educational, and employment success. Even more significant, strong literacy skills are foundational to a family’s success. Children’s first teachers are their parents. Their home is the first classroom, and the community is their first school. And like Thelma and Amy Jo, and in the words of one our clients ‘Please get involved! You can’t afford not to. There is more to life than our own little space. Bringing community together through literacy makes our Saskatchewan families stronger because we never stop learning. Ever!’”
For those of you who have purchased a copy of Thelma, $1 is already in the kitty. Thank you!! For those of you thinking of a book for yourself or others, consider it a $1 gift toward the strength and success of the new readers—and their families—in our community.
Now, in pandemic lockdown, reading is Thelma’s lifeline to the outside world. The last time I was able to briefly visit, she was reading Guns, Germs and Steel. I took her the new biography of Sylvia Fedoruk, which truly delighted her. She’s probably read another three books since then :)