SOAR! Named a finalist in fifth annual Tom’s of Maine “50 States for Good” Program

Washington County SOAR! represents Indiana as one of 51 Finalists in the Running to Earn $10,000 in Funding
Washington County SOAR! has been selected as the only finalist from Indiana in the fifth annual Tom’s of Maine “50 States for Good” community giving program and now has a chance to win $10,000 to grow important community projects and services that will help give the gift of reading to adults in Washington County. Through a public vote once a day at now through October 15, supporters can help bring the funding to Washington County with the simple click of a mouse.

The “50 States for Good” program seeks to uncover local nonprofit groups that address community needs and engage volunteers to get the work done. Washington County SOAR’s adult and family literacy program creates life-long readers by enhancing reading levels, reading related self-confidence, employment and/or successful completion of the GED. The SOAR! staff has seen in the past that, with increases in reading skills, self-confidence and self-esteem grow. 

“We are honored to be chosen as the organization to represent Indiana.  SOAR! truly is a grassroots organization.  We have one paid staff, eleven volunteer board members, over sixty active tutors, and an entire community of supporters,” Erica Schmidt, SOAR! Director stated. “The mission of SOAR! is to increase literacy by promoting and providing educational resources for adults and families in our community.  Funding for Tom’s of Maine will help us expand our services.  We currently have twenty-seven enrolled in the program and have a waiting list.  We do not want to turn away any adults who want to better themselves and help build a future for their families,” Schmidt continued.  

Non-profit finalists from each state were selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 nominations by an independent panel of judges, including the star of “The Vampire Diaries” and non-profit founder Ian Somerhalder, Matt Petronzio, assistant features editor covering social good for, Huffington Post columnist Lisa M. Dietlin and Sam Davidson, president of Cool People Care.

Tom’s of Maine is a leading natural products company focused on oral and personal care and offers high quality toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, deodorant and bar soap products. The company has a long-standing commitment to supporting people, communities and the living planet. For over 42 years, TOM has sponsored hundreds of nonprofit efforts by giving 10% of its profits back to organizations that support human and environmental goodness and by encouraging employees to use 5% (12 days) of employee time to volunteer.

About Washington County SOAR!

SOAR! is the only non-profit organization in Washington County, Indiana that provides free one-on-one literacy tutoring for adults and reading programs for youth and families.

Adult Literacy: Washington County SOAR! provides free one-on-one tutoring for adults in basic and advanced reading, math, pre-GED preparation, writing, English, and ESL (English as a second language). The adult program is successful because of the individualized lesson plans created by the trained volunteer tutors.  SOAR! students who stay in the program for at least two months measurably increase their reading skills.

Family Literacy: Washington County SOAR! currently provides two youth programs:  Put Your Nose In A Book (1st grade) and The Dictionary Project (3rd grade). The programs include specific curriculum, trained volunteers delivering the curriculum, and books for the students to take home.  The program improves literacy in elementary school students by providing them with reading materials and encouraging them to continue reading outside of school with their families.   

To VOTE for Washington County SOAR!, visit to place your vote for SOAR! and Indiana. Again, supporters can vote once a day from September 16 – October 15 by visiting the above websites.  The SOAR! staff and Board of Directors would like to thank all supporters in advance for his/her vote.