Katie Heath is Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator at Kappa Delta Pi.
Earlier this year, more than 1,200 books were donated to a low-income community in southern Wisconsin. More than 600 people between the ages of 3 and 78, all across the community, received the books.
You’re probably thinking that this was a huge initiative, led by a large group of people as one collective venture. But in reality, all 1,200 books donated were the result of the efforts of a single individual, John MacDonald.
John recently served as the president of the Alpha Epsilon Xi Chapter and has now transitioned into the Associate Counselor role to assist in leading the KDP chapter at Walden University.
His goal in completing this Literacy Alive! project was to honor his mother, who passed away in 2013. His mother was committed to giving back to others and wanted to help people improve their literacy skills. When donating the books, John focused on low-income families and those learning English as a new language.
John is just one example of why membership in Kappa Delta Pi means more than just a line on your résumé. Every day, members like John are living out the ideals of Kappa Delta Pi (fidelity to humanity, science, service, and toil) and are the reason this organization has an esteemed reputation within the education community.
Fidelity to Humanity – I can’t think of a better example of fidelity to humanity than John’s desire to serve his community and honor his mother. John showed compassion to those in his town; a commitment to improving the human condition through literacy; and dedication to continuous education with equal opportunities for people of all ages, races, and creeds.
Science – John’s desire to support literacy in his community shows that he is faithful to the cause of free inquiry and that he is committed to helping others have access to resources they need to continue lifelong learning.
Service – If you had to describe John’s “Book Exchange” project with one word, you might choose the word service. Every part of the initiative had serving others in mind—serving those in the community and simultaneously honoring his mother by continuing her dedication to serving others.
Toil – For me personally, toil is always the hardest of the ideals Kappa Delta Pi represents to live out daily. Toil is doing a task that must be done regardless of whether the task pleases oneself. Reading through John’s project submission almost brought tears to my eyes; I am thankful every day for the family members that surround me and that, as an adult, I am still able to live in the same city as my parents. I truly can’t imagine the pain and struggle of losing a parent, and I applaud John for choosing to honor his mother during a difficult time of grief and loss.
If you read our previous blog post about Literacy Alive! you know that I love supporting KDP’s signature service initiative because I get to hear about the wonderful events hosted by chapters and members all across the country. I hope more of you are inspired by John’s amazing example of how a single servant’s heart can touch the lives of so many.