ImageAh, summertime, when a young woman's thoughts turn to ... reading. Reading on the beach. In the hammock. On a plane heading toward some exotic vacation destination. The lazy days allow us to expand our reading time beyond those stolen moments before bed, on the treadmill, in the bathroom. But what if you couldn't read?

It's something we here at Editorial Emergency find unimaginable, but it's the daily reality of countless Americans. Fortunately, we know someone who's doing something about it: Alice Peacock, a Chicago-based singer-songwriter who in 2004 co-founded the nonprofit Rock for Reading. Armed with little more than a passion for books, Alice started an outfit that last year alone raised nearly $100,000 for Chicago-area grassroots literacy and reading organizations.

We recently made an in-kind donation to Rock for Reading, and we are fortunate to count among our clients numerous Los Angeles nonprofits whose work never fails to inspire us. Always eager to broaden our horizons, we put a call out to friends, family and colleagues asking them about their favorite charities, a handful of which are presented here in a piece called "Dot Org: Our Favorite Do-Gooders."
We are fortunate to count among our clients numerous nonprofits whose work never fails to inspire us.

This annotated list joins our Q&A with Alice Peacock, a feature on grassroots relief worker/documentarian (and singer-songwriter) Johnne Perez and a personal reflection titled "Mama Was a Volunteer." You'll also find a new platter of ear food in "Round and Shiny" and a guest column by Jonah Glickman, winner of the 2006 Carpenter Avenue School Third Annual Fifth Grade Spelling Bee.

Of course, we're also here to remind you that Editorial Emergency is always at your service, whether you're involved in a nonprofit that needs a more compelling appeal, a creative team in search of fresh concepts and copywriting, or a corporation in the throes of rebranding.

Two final notes: If you, too, are a fan of reading, writing, young people, creative expression and making the world a better place, check out two of our favorite local nonprofits, Reading to Kids and WriteGirl. And just so you know that we don't play favorites, here's a little something from the latest batch of "Not Our Clients" whoppers. Just because you're a nonprofit whose work we support doesn't mean you're off the hook.

Mmm ... hamony.