Read Better Be Better is thrilled to recognize the two-year RBBB anniversary of Fundraising Coordinator Molly Smithwick! Molly does a ton of work for RBBB, but her main focus is writing grants, organizing and executing fundraising campaigns, and managing a network of relationships with donors and families.
Continue reading to learn more about Molly and her thoughts and takeaways from her two years at RBBB!
Tell us about your role and your background.
“I am the Fundraising Coordinator for RBBB, a role I never dreamed of being. My background is in public schools and libraries, with a degree in Art History. Needless to say, I read a lot, but I also love talking to people and hearing stories, and that part of me is what made me an ideal candidate for RBBB. “
What excites you the most about your job?
“I literally get energized from people, and in this case, that means the kids we serve, my coworkers, and the community members I get to meet every day. It’s exciting being recognized by people—the name ‘Read Better Be Better’ is recognized by people constantly—and there is respect and authority attached to our brand. It’s exciting knowing that our program works and has deeply impactful and meaningful transformations embedded at every step of the program.”
How do you prefer to start your day? End your day?
“Lately, I’ve been reading and drinking coffee in bed every morning (thank you, Shelby) and that has proven to not only be a great use of time, but a way that makes me feel like I’m on a short little vacation each and every day. Now ending my day—I have a structured routine, okay?—it involves dinner, a touch of TV, some exercise, a bit of reading, and ends usually with an IPA.”
What energizes you?
“The sun. Names people give their pets. The sound of my daughter giving out a small morning snore. Cute animal GIFs. Friends. Getting rid of junk. Making people laugh. Feeling aligned with the universe.”
What is something that surprised you about working at RBBB?
“In some ways, it was the people I work with. In others, it was myself that surprised me. I learned a lot about people, perseverance, technology, and challenges.”
What is something you have learned in the past two years that you might not have working somewhere else?
“I just don’t think anyone would have challenged me the way my coworkers did—and I mean that in the best possible way. I was challenged because I was cared for, and knowing that people cared for me so much that they wanted nothing more for me than to grow and be uncomfortable and take challenges head-on—I was transformed. I became better because we all became better.”
What is the best book you have read in the past two years?
“Well, it’s hard for me to remember what I had for lunch most days, so asking me to remember what I read two years ago is not going to happen. But I will tell you the best book I’ve read recently which is “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. The book looks directly at that feeling of not feeling much, that you don’t belong, that you want to give up, that decisions often feel too big to actually choose one, that you’ve been only a disappointment—and gives you another way to look at all of that. It also touched on that suspicion that I’ve had for a while, that there are multiple planes of existence and that reincarnation is more real than we imagined. In short, the book provided me with a sense of, whatever I choose to do, it’s not the choice that matters, it’s the amount of love I have in my life that matters.”
We are so fortunate to be able to work alongside you, Molly!