After 25 record-breaking years on the air, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will be airing its last episode today. There is no question that Oprah Winfrey and her show have helped to inspire and change millions of lives. First Book is particularly inspired by Ms. Winfrey’s love for reading and support of literacy initiatives.
After the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, First Book pledged (and delivered) five million books to help rebuild. Oprah’s Angel Network made a significant contribution to our effort in the form of a $250,000 grant. That support – the first major support our Gulf Coast efforts received – served as a catalyst for our successful work there, which continues to this day.
Most recently, we were inspired by the 13,000 people in “Oprah’s Surprise Spectacular” show audience this past Monday who held up a children’s book to be donated to a child in need through First Book in tribute to Ms. Winfrey’s legacy. Thanks to the audience’s generosity, more than 25,000 new books in total will be given to children in low-income communities throughout the country, including a donation of over 1,100 books for the children at KIPP Believe College Preparatory Academy in New Orleans, the school that was featured in the broadcast.
There has been no greater ambassador for literacy than Oprah Winfrey. We are grateful for her legacy of generosity and service.