Donor Spotlight – Julie Roethler
Julie Roethler has loved books since she joined her first book club as a young girl. Books have provided entertainment, knowledge, and comfort her entire life. As a result, she has developed a strong belief in the power of books alongside a desire to share her love of reading with others.
In 2015, Julie became involved in Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty’s Scholastic Book Fair to help stock the library book shelves at Youth Emergency Services and Shelter (YESS). The idea of providing an opportunity for at-risk youth to experience the thrill of opening a new book and losing themseves in a story energized her. She joined the book fair planning committee and her enthusiasm and hard work has been instrumental in the growth and success of this annual event.
New Chapters is extremely grateful for Julie’s support over the years. She has been an invaluable ambassador for New Chapters by introducing others to our mission and garnering their support. Recently, her husband Chad joined her in making a personal donation to provide funding for a new library at Harvest Academy. Thanks to Julie and Chad’s generosity, New Chapters was able to expand our reach to include adults who are striving to alter their path and recover from past mistakes and poor decisions. The impact of Juie and Chad’s donation will touch many lives for years to come.
Please read on to learn more about Julie as we shine our spotlight on this very special donor!
When did you first hear about New Chapters?
I first heard about New Chapters about the time Stacie established it. My office, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty, hosts a yearly Scholastic Book Fair and I am the lead person for this initiative. Originally the fair supported the Youth Emergency Services and Shelter (YESS) Library. We have grown large enough that now we support New Chapters as a whole.
Why did you first donate to New Chapters?
We first made donations to the BHHS First Realty Scholastic Book Fair which supported the library at YESS.
Is there an aspect of the New Chapters’ mission with which you connect more than others?
The joy of reading was instilled in me at an early age. Some of my favorite childhood memories are going to the library with my mom and coming home with stacks of books. I love that New Chapters is giving at-risk youth this same opportunity.
What do you hope to see regarding New Chapters’ efforts around Des Moines?
I am looking forward to the development of New Chapters’ library at Harvest Academy. The expansion to adults is exciting. I am also looking forward to seeing how the library at Dorothy’s House turns out since my office is the main donor!
What do you tell others about New Chapters?
I tell people that New Chapters is doing incredible work in our community providing libraries in facilities throughout Des Moines. They keep the libraries similar looking at each location because some kids move from one place to another. This provides a much needed feeling of stability. Reading is not only an opportunity to learn and become a better reader, but also to escape the hardships of life in a facility for a while.
Is there a particular book that has made an impact on you?
The Bible would be #1. The Diary of Anne Frank would be #2.
Do you have a special memory that includes a book or reading?
When I was little I was in a “Sweet Pickles” book club. I was so excited when a new book arrived each month. I remember setting up a reading corner in my bedroom and surrounding myself with my collection of books. I could curl up and read for hours.
Do you have a favorite author and/or book?
Currently I am really into Brene Brown.
About New Chapters Libraries
At New Chapters, our collective passion is to inspire a love of books among at-risk youth. We believe that strong reading skills are essential for every child and that a good book can be very therapeutic and offer a ‘vacation’ from the hardships of everyday life.
New Chapters is committed to making a wide variety of current and high-interest books readily available by creating and refurbishing libraries in residential facilities catering to at-risk children. We also conduct programs aimed at fostering a love of books and increasing reading skills.