David Miljoner Legacy Fund

The Dalai Lama once said… “Our highest purpose in this life is to help others.”


People often ask about how they can make a positive difference, to improve the lives of those less fortunate, and be a force for good in our communities and the world. As a visitor to this webpage, and someone who has a connection to Literacy Nassau, you are likely one of those caring difference-makers. As such, you know that giving of oneself elevates the giver as much as the receiver. You reach out, you volunteer, you give and you contribute… because you care enough to make the world a better place.


Literacy Nassau is proud to introduce the “David Miljoner Legacy Fund” as a venue within the organization to support the programs which generally benefit recent immigrants and other disadvantaged populations. Such programs include Adult Literacy Education, English Language Learning, Citizenship Preparation, and others including some new initiatives being developed, e.g. a program to benefit children of ESL families. The organization will direct resources and raised funds to programs that have the greatest identified needs.

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David Miljoner, a grandson of immigrants who were Holocaust survivors (and who themselves benefited from English
literacy tutoring and Citizenship preparation), was also from a family with a 20+ year association with Literacy Nassau. A year
2000 graduate of Oceanside High School, David served as editor of the school’s newspaper (Sider Press), and did some
volunteer English tutoring for fellow students, among his civic and community activities. David continued to volunteer and
advocate for the less fortunate as a student at the State University at Albany, and then continued with graduate studies
including International and Latin American affairs. He studied and volunteered in Chile for a year, and also fulfilled a graduate
student fellowship with mission work for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Peru, and the Peruvian Congress.
David was also selected for a NY State Senate fellowship which focused on immigrant issues, and advocacy for those with
disabilities. After a year as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, David moved out west for a position with the U.S. Department of
Labor, where he went on to develop programs to protect vulnerable immigrant workers.


David passed away in November 2016, after a long battle with Leukemia and Systemic Lupus, with which he was diagnosed
as a teenager. His many medical challenges did not deter him from his studies, volunteer work, social justice activism and
service to others. In fact his own struggles instilled in him the empathy that moved him toward a committed life of advocacy for
others.


That legacy of advocacy inspired many people with whom David worked and interacted over the years. One high ranking
Labor Department official said that it was David’s commitment and work that was the impetus for a nationwide initiative to help
exploited immigrant workers. He was the inspiration for an “attitude and gratitude” campaign in the agency’s Long Island
office. Many others have said that David inspired them to live “better and more purposeful” lives, similarly devoted to
advocacy for those less fortunate.


Few things can help people attain “better and more purposeful” lives more than achieving literacy. The positive impact of
literacy is crucial to so many life endeavors, from employment and financial security to social connections and overall
contentment. For children, it’s fundamental to education and beyond -- building self-esteem, social awareness and essential
connections to the world around them, all of which will be a foundation for their life success and fulfillment.


Please consider designating donations of any amount you might think of making to Literacy Nassau, as being directed to the
David Miljoner Legacy Fund. It would honor David’s memory, spirit and legacy of service to vulnerable and underserved
populations, consistent with the mission and work of Literacy Nassau – and more – it would so greatly benefit so many in need.