Non-Profits Will Need a Change of Style Not Heart to Recover

This is logo of the 501 (c)3 charity Read to Kids US Inc, which encourages parents and grandparents to read to 3-6-year-old kids 15 minutes per day.

Read to Kids US Inc is a 501(c)3 charity that encourages parents and grandparents to read to 3-6-year-old kids 15 minutes per day..

Photo of Read to Kids US Inc Founder Denise Meridith with Adventures of Arry books.

Denise Meridith, CEO of Denise Meridith Consultants Inc, founded the non-profit Read to Kids US Inc to strengthen family bonds during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Non-profits suffered as much as their charges during the pandemic. One small non-profit is trying different approaches to recover.

It is as important as ever that people start or maintain a simple habit of spending at least 15 minutes quietly sharing a story with a child.”
— Denise Meridith, Founder of Read to Kids US Inc
PHOENIX, ARIZONA, USA, June 1, 2022 / -- Ironically, non-profit organizations, often those most needed during the pandemic, were those most damaged by its past two years. Illness, unemployment, supply chain shortages, evictions, and other unanticipated impacts drove Americans to shelters, food banks, mental health services, and other charities, which were overwhelmed by customers. Meanwhile, the negative impacts of COVID on non-profit operations themselves were staggering. The National Council of Nonprofits publishes state-wide statistics. For instance, in 2021, The Alliance of Arizona Non-Profits reported layoffs (average of 26-50% in staff reductions), loss of volunteers (over 20% of AZ non-profits lost 76-100% of volunteers), the average non-profit loss of revenue (26-50%), and total revenue lost in Arizona (over $91 million). With a reduction of mask mandates and business picking up, there is a slow recovery in 2022. One small non-profit in Arizona called Read to Kids US Inc is using some techniques which might benefit all charities post-COVID-19 pandemic.

First, non-profits should ensure that their mission remains relevant to current events and needs. Read to Kids US Inc is a 501(c)3, whose start was delayed into and during the pandemic due to law firm and government slowdowns in the certification process. Though some people were quarantined with their children 24/7, others were separated either due to contagion concerns or horrific first-responder work schedules. Brief quiet moments of togetherness to share a book with a child either in person or via Kindle became precious. Read to Kids US features monthly columns from parenting expert Dr. Sally Goldberg to specifically assist parents during these trying times.

Non-profits should also be realistic about expectations both about and from their clients and customers. Read to Kids US Inc tries to keep the message simple and doable. Its mission is to encourage parents and grandparents to read to their 3-6-year-old kids 15 minutes a day.

“We hope, now that there seems to be some relief from the pandemic, to expand our outreach. It is as important as ever that people start or maintain a simple habit of spending at least 15 minutes quietly sharing a story with a child,” says Denise Meridith, Founder and CEO of Read to Kids US Inc. She likens doing this to starting a new diet that is enjoyable and has lasting, long-term benefits for both children and adults. Readers interested in a copy of Read to Kids US Inc’s “10 Reasons to Read to Kids “can request one via email

Though it is harder for some organizations than others, effective marketing, using modern methods, is critical to reaching users, donors, suppliers, and the media. Read to Kids US promotes a series of excellent, age-appropriate hardcover and paperback that can be easily and economically ordered through Amazon and other sources online and hopes to host live events/appearances by its authors and animal stars later this year. It also advocates for greater use of eBooks, audible books, and online communication systems like Zoom, as that is what kids are already used to and will be using in the future. The staff and board of the organization consist of experienced professionals with branding and media experience to lead that effort.

Meridith also feels that partnerships are invaluable to non-profits these days. Only a few huge, nationwide non-profits can afford to “go it alone” anymore. Groups with similar missions should be working together. Read to Kids US has joined other book groups’ activities and it and its members make donations to other charities that benefit pets and/or children.

Sometimes non-profits also need to recognize new types of partners and donors. Art O’Hagan, who himself was indisposed during the pandemic, made many families happy by buying and donating the Adventures of Arry books to nurses and their children. Read to Kids US is looking for businesses to follow O’Hagan’s lead and purchase Read to Kids US books to donate to their own or others' first responders, military personnel, and others who seldom get time to spend with their own children because they are helping everyone else

There may be organizations, which do not seem related, that might be able to assist each other’s causes. “Read to Kids US Inc wants to host an event with Gregory’s Fresh Market, a wonderful non-profit that delivers fresh vegetables to senior citizens,” says Meridith. “An afternoon featuring good food and good books would be healthy and fun for both kids and seniors.”

Denise Meridith is a non-profit expert, having founded groups like The Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce and Linking Sports & Communities, and has created innumerable environmental education programs for youth 5-21 with corporations like Disney during 29 years of government service. Now she wants to help heal some of the schisms that COVID-19 created for families, as well as to address the literacy and technology gaps that the pandemic exposed. She wants businesses to demonstrate their commitment to families by becoming sponsors of Read to Kids US Inc and similar charities, and for parents and grandparents of young kids to follow the Read to Kids US website and social media, get some books, and start reading.

Denise Meridith
Denise Meridith Consultants Inc
+1 602-809-7701
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Arry Loves Read to Kids US Inc