Meet Local Philanthropist and ROR GA Supporter Lynn Floum

Floum and ROR GA Executive Director Amy Erickson Have a Long Shared History of Generosity in the Community

Atlanta philanthropist, Lynn Floum, made a generous donation to Reach Out and Read Georgia in memory of her dear mother who recently passed and in honor of her close friend Amy Erickson, who serves as Executive Director. Lynn's mother instilled in Lynn and her brother a love of reading and the value of learning throughout life.

"Education and reading is so important for children," Lynn said in a recent interview with ROR GA blogger Amanda Berlin. "Books show children possibility. They show them adventure and that you can overcome challenges."

Lynn also pointed out, "The mission is so crucial. There is much more about the issues ROR GA confronts in the public eye right now. And, reading can truly address so many of them. It can end the cycle of multigenerational poverty."

Lynn and Amy Erickson have long had a relationship built on service. They lived in the same neighborhood when Amy stopped on the highway to help some homeless women -- both pregnant -- and their children whose car had broken down on the side of the road.

Lynn told us of how Amy marshalled the resources of her neighborhood and mobilized her entire network and community to help get these women the resources and access to services they needed to resettle here in Atlanta.

"It was a moment in time for all involved that was really special," Lynn told us. "She brought the entire community together, helping these women, and brought a very special experience to our children, being able to help in this way."

"Amy saw the need, knew the resources she had, but knew she couldn't do it alone. She knew how to reach out. She was the one who got it all started."

In addition to a dear friendship, Lynn and Amy share a passion for philanthropy. As an inaugural founding Board member of the National Charity League, Northeast Atlanta chapter Amy encouraged Lynn to join her to help serve their community and build leadership skills with their daughters. Lynn joined and two years later was elected chapter President.   

When Lynn's mother passed, she wanted to support a cause that was close to her mother's heart and fill a need. She knew Reach Out and Read Georgia was on a mission to help as many low income children in Georgia as possible. What she didn't know is that the organization had just set a goal of raising $25,000 with a strategy to secure 25 $1,000 donors. It was serendipitous that Lynn's donation was for $1,000 yet marking one more special moment between these friends.

"My mother grew up in North Dakota where the winters were very long. She and her siblings would read anything they could get their hands on. She told us stories of how they would read the Sears catalog and make up stories based on the pictures they saw."

"Then, she was a nursery school teacher for 18 years. She always made it really clear to us how important reading was. She was an avid reader and encouraged us to pick up a book each summer. She bought me The Secret Garden and I just got lost in the story."

"She even started a book club and initiated an annual collection to support a charity of their choosing. She made a big difference to a lot of people."

Clearly the apple didn't fall far from the tree. We asked Lynn about some of her other charity work.

She's a newly certified Court Appointed Special Advocate. These are individuals who meet with children who are abused or neglected and advocate for their best interest within the court system.

Mother Teresa said "it's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving." Lynn's passion for serving and giving is infectious and she encourages everyone to give so that they too can make a difference, directly, in a child's life. "Even the smallest step you take can make a difference. It's just very important to do something."


Contact Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read National Center
89 South St, Suite 201
Boston, MA 02111