All of us at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas are grateful for our generous supporters, investing in change that lasts. To borrow a line from Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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By Jennifer Sampson, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas CEO & President

We know this community cares about making North Texas a better place to live, work and raise our families. You’ve proven it time and again. And together, we are focused on creating solutions that produce healthy, well-educated and financially stable individuals and families.

As we unite to forever change lives, my wish is that you’ll join United Way in January to Change a Child’s Story. Two-thirds of America’s children living in poverty have no books at home. With a 38% child poverty rate in Dallas, we know there are thousands of local children who don’t have the simple luxury of owning a book to read.

For a child, reading is critical to the foundation of all future learning. Children learn to read through 3rd grade. In 4th grade, they begin reading to learn. Without gaining the necessary verbal, literacy, and comprehensive skills that reading provides during the early years, starting and staying behind in school can be the inevitable result.

United Way’s “Change a Child’s Story” digital campaign will collect donations to get books to children who need them and encourage parents to read to their kids at least 20 minutes per day. “Change a Child’s Story” officially launches the first week of January, but we’re encouraging you to show your support early by registering.

We’re counting on you to make our wish come true… to rewrite the stories of thousands of North Texas children in need in 2016. As Dr. Seuss and I predict, “And will you succeed? Yes, you will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)!”

Wishing you the joy that comes by giving the gift of reading to a child.

Jennifer Sampson