LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Nicholas George runs The Listening, a Lynchburg organization that runs a summer reading program called Freedom School.

“That summer reading gap, learning gap is really impactful for our young people during the summer, especially in middle school,” said George.

Freedom School’s mission is to help close the achievement gap for students of color. One way is by providing specific books.

“Something that looks like them sounds like them, featuring characters, authors, storylines of color that are inspiring, empowering.”

They’re one of more than 100 local nonprofits that are a part of SHARE Greater Lynchburg, a one-stop website for people to give to local nonprofits.

“Let’s say a nonprofit needs tables or other kinds of supplies and things,” said Bill Bodine, President & CEO of the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation, which oversees the site, “they can be sent directly by people who’s rather do that then just donate money.”

The website has been up for about a month and a half, according to Bodine. Residents can also volunteer their time and donate money.

“We got an anonymous grant from an amazing community member that challenged us and our supporters to raise $10,000 that they would match,” said George.

The Listening has a deadline for that donation match. They have until the end of Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, to reach $10,000 and double their earnings. He says by Monday afternoon, they were halfway to that goal.

“$20,000. That means that…each kid and their family will be able to be part of this program at no cost at all. We want to make it free for all students, all families.”

He says people can also donate by texting FS10KGT to 44321.

Next summer, they plan to serve up to 40 families.

SHARE Greater Lynchburg is based on a site that started in Charlotte, and Lynchburg is the fourth city to adopt it.

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