Letters from Linda

March 2018

When you think about all the different kinds of partnerships you’ve had in life some just immediately make you smile.  That’s how I think about Half Price Books.  LIFT is thrilled that Sharon Anderson Wright, her nephew, Brady O’Neal, and niece, Emily O’Neal Ferguson, agreed to chair this year’s Toast to Literacy event on September 14. 

 For more than three decades LIFT and Half Price Books have been partners.  That longevity is likely based on shared values.  Sharon’s father, HPB co-founder Pat Anderson, summed up the store’s mission statement as: “Be fair to customers and our employees, promote literacy, be kind to the environment and remain financially viable.”  LIFT’s goals are to be supportive and encouraging to its adult students, promote and increase literacy through high-quality programs, and remain financially viable in order to continue to fulfill its mission.

Strong partnerships are buoyed by personal relationships.  I can easily recall decades of enjoyable, stimulating experiences in many different Half Price Book locations across the country, in large part due to the relaxed and welcoming environment that its employees create.  And LIFT has benefitted from board relationships with Half Price Books professionals, including Kathy Doyle Thomas and Emily Bruce.

 I plan to sponsor a table at September’s Toast to Literacy event and I hope you will be able to join this celebration of LIFT’s amazing volunteers, students, and supporters.  After all, it’s important to stop and acknowledge the places and people who shaped us by encouraging our growth.


Linda K. Johnson, Ph.D.