Life-long Tennessee resident, Karen Siklosi, has generously chosen to support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Northwest Louisiana. Karen’s daughter, Katie, resides in Shreveport, Louisiana, with her husband, Robby, and ten-month-old daughter, Maddie. Karen’s unwavering love for her granddaughter encouraged her to support the community in which Maddie lives. Karen did not let a little distance come between her and her drive to help those in need in Northwest Louisiana.
This past April, she contributed to United Way of Northwest Louisiana’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program that supplies free books to children from birth to five years old. When Karen was informed that her donation to the region would allow 120 children in the program to receive free books, she was surprised that her gift would help so many. Karen’s contribution will further the success of the program, help it continue in Northwest Louisiana, and provide early education to the children that live here.
During these unprecedented times caused by COVID-19, Karen’s impact is more important than ever. It is now crucial that children have the resources they need to learn from home.
As a former elementary school teacher, Karen has always had a passion for education and understood the importance of early childhood literacy. She states, “Reading is so critical. You can’t wait until children are school–age to get them ready.” Karen has made a great effort to establish a close relationship with her granddaughter from afar by reading to her often. She will record herself reading books and then send the recordings to Maddie. Karen’s recordings are more than a bonding moment with her granddaughter. “When you read to a child, they begin to make connections in many different ways. They learn how to sit still, associate images in their minds with the words they are hearing, they receive building blocks to succeed in school, and much more,” she says.
Karen and her family have shown significant commitment in their relationship to United Way for many years. In addition to their family’s contribution of time and dollars, Karen’s husband is a member of the grants committee for United Way of McMinn and Meigs Counties. Their family believes it is important to give. “Our contribution may not be big, but it can be impactful, no matter how small, because it’s not small to somebody else,” she says. With so many great causes out there, Karen chooses to support United Way because she believes in its fight for the health, education, financial stability, and the essential needs of every person.
United Way of Northwest Louisiana thanks Karen and her family for their generous contribution to Northwest Louisiana, and on behalf of the children in our area, thank you to all of our donors who have made Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library available in our region.