More Books, Fewer Toasters

By Gabriella Lundy and Chloe Mendoza

Where love grows, abundance follows.

On July 3, 2022, Jan Half and Sharyn Saslafsky celebrated their nuptials in an original way: instead of receiving gifts, they invited their guests to support local organizations they are passionate about. One of these organizations was Bring Me a Book.

When asked why they decided to celebrate their marriage in such a way, Sharyn recounts, “We have so much. And we actually gave away so much. The last thing we really thought about was a registry. How many toasters can you collect?”

In honor of Jan and Sharyn’s abundant love, their friends and families raised over $5,000 for literacy efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Since meeting in 2016, Jan and Sharyn have embraced life not only as partners, but also as lifelong learners. Jan, a retired educator and nonprofit director, taught middle school students in rural Illinois in the 70s and has an affinity for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Sharyn, retired director of Muni (San Francisco Municipal Railway) communications, has been active in the political and activist world for many years. Both continue to learn from each other about their respective expertises, but share a common passion: literacy. As Jan shared, “Books, literacy, learning, children… All fit into a scope of things that we are both still very, very interested in.”

Inspired by Bring Me a Book’s work in San Mateo County and the foundation’s integral approach to community literacy, Jan and Sharyn decided to reach out to Lois Bridges, Executive Director of Bring Me a Book. Together, they worked to organize a wedding fund and select the best project for Jan and Sharyn to support. A month after their marriage, the couple continue to be closely linked to the foundation’s efforts and are eager to hear from the children and families benefiting from their contributions.

“If people are going to donate or honor you, why not give to a cause they are most passionate about? It is a win-win for all”.

With the support of their beloved family and friends, Jan and Sharyn transformed their celebration of love into an act of service toward their community. They hope that others with abundance in their lives decide to follow suit and choose a worthy cause to donate to. “If people are going to donate or honor you, why not give to a cause they are most passionate about? It is a win-win for all,” explained Sharyn.

If you would like to commemorate a special occasion by supporting Bring Me a Book, please contact
Lois Bridges:

© 2022 Gabriella Lundy and Chloe Gabrielle Mendoza.