ABOUT FREADOM PROMOTIONS

Being able to read is the most critical skill for anyone who wants to fully claim and realize the freedoms America promises; this is why Freadom exists. Freadom is a social enterprise created to accelerate and amplify the awareness of and advance the cause for literacy.

Freadom Promotions dedicates 100% of our net profit in support of bold literacy initiatives throughout America. Our audacious goal – investing $100 Million to literacy annually.

What that means:

Freadom defines net profit as revenue from all sources minus all ordinary business expenses, taxes and necessary working capital. As a new enterprise Freadom is not yet profitable but we are committed to a culture of giving sacrificially so, until we are profitable, Freadom commits to donating 10% of all revenue to bold literacy initiatives in America.

Our mission:

Advance the cause for, and accelerate and amplify the awareness of, literacy in America. Freadom promises FREEDOM FOR ALL by fighting for LITERACY FOR ALL. Every single penny of profits at Freadom will be invested in literacy initiatives which are effective, efficient, scalable and sustainable. At Freadom, we believe the better someone reads, the more free they will be.

OUR PLEDGE:

Because traditional philanthropy alone will never solve the literacy problem in America, we pledge to:

Raise Awareness

Significantly increase awareness around our country’s literacy crisis and make literacy a national priority.

Commit 100% of Profits

Once established, commit 100% of our profits to literacy initiatives which are proven to be effective, efficient, scalable and sustainable.

$100 Million

Aspire to donate $100 Million annually to promising literacy initiatives throughout America.

THE CHALLENGE:

 

More than 30 million adults in America cannot read or write and 61% of low-income families have ZERO books in their homes.

WE BELIEVE

We believe in the idea of The American Dream, but only when it is accessible to ALL.

We believe in an equitable pursuit of happiness, for ALL people who call America home.

We believe your probability to succeed in life should be determined by how hard you work, and NEVER by where you are born or who you are born to.

We believe reading is the foundation for true freedom.

We believe in the transformative power of reading; literacy for all should be a key performance indicator in defining our success as a country.

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We believe in citizenship, not just in how it outlines our rights and privileges BUT more importantly how it defines our duties; we must all get into the “arena” to make our communities better for future generations.

We believe in servanthood, thinking of others first.

We believe in striving to live a life of significance, not just success.

We believe significant people do things NOW, especially when it comes to inequity; there should be no patience or tolerance for imbalance in equitable opportunity.

We believe in taking risks, innovating and iteration, especially on behalf of others who are less fortunate.

We believe in being unrealistic.

We believe there is incredible redemptive value in giving; when we give, we receive.

We believe if you are going to wear something or utilize something, it should always be taken as an opportunity to stand for something.

We believe in having uncomfortable conversations and taking uncomfortable actions on behalf of the most vulnerable.

We believe Freadom is worth the fight.

CURRENT BENEFICIARIES

Beneficiaries are proactively researched, identified, vetted and selected by Freadom based on the criteria below. As such, there is NOT an open application process; we kindly ask literacy initiatives to respect this approach.

  • Deliver a literacy focused, direct service to children

  • Think BIG and have a commitment to an entrepreneurial culture, willing to take risks

  • Demonstrate a bias towards prevention over intervention

  • Show a focus on being effective, efficient, sustainable and scalable

  • Operate like a business and think like a brand

  • Maintain a compensation philosophy for their employees which matches the passion for their mission

The leading provider of quality (culturally relevant and highly engaging) books to under-served children in the Chicagoland area; serving more than 300,000 children annually. We also support Bernie's Book Bank National Replication Effort to establish metropolitan-based children’s book banks in other major American cities.

Little Free Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving book access for all. There are more than 100,000 Little Free Library boxes in all 50 United States and beyond, sharing millions of books each year. A recipient of the 2020 World Literacy Award, Little Free Library utilizes its donor-driven Impact Library Program to bring little libraries full of books to under-resourced communities.

Read Alliance works to accelerate the educational trajectory of early elementary students through the power of teens who provide one-to-one literacy tutoring in under-resourced communities.

For over 20 years, Reading Partners has empowered students to succeed in reading and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring. Since its founding, the national nonprofit organization has mobilized nearly 70,000 community volunteers to provide proven, individualized literacy tutoring to more than 65,000 elementary school students in nearly 450 under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia.

TEAM FREADOM PROMOTIONS

OUR TEAM IS
YOUR TEAM

  • PURPOSE-DRIVEN | We exist for YOU & for IMPACT
  • RELATIONSHIPS | We strive to be an extension of your team
  • COMMUNICATION | You call, we answer – you email, we respond… promptly
  • CLIENT SERVICE | We work for YOU
  • ON TREND | Here to make you look good, again & again
  • EXPERIENCE | Our team has decades of combined experience in the industry
  • EXCELLENCE | No compromise
  • For YOU. For OTHERS.

Christy O’Brien – Owner & Steward

Christy is a champion of human rights, and she believes reading is the foundation for true freedom. She strives to live a life of service that lifts people up, empowers and launches greater access to resources. She believes that, whether intentional or not, we live a life based on our beliefs and values. Christy believes every person deserves to be seen, heard and valued…whether friend, neighbor or consumer. As a consumer, Christy has a firm conviction that we vote with our dollars, accordingly, putting dollars in ethical and purpose-driven companies is a win-win.

Raised by a teacher and school social worker, education, literacy and compassion are in her DNA. Her inspiration comes from her father whose life was transformed by ONE teacher. “That one teacher told my dad that he could lift himself out of poverty through education and, more importantly, that he believed in my dad. He went to work, got better grades, attended community college, and eventually went to Michigan State University through graduate school. My dad taught high school students for over 35 years and was appreciated for his humor and his ability to reach the ‘unteachable’ students.”

Her journey includes a trip through Iowa for a degree in psychology, several years in Colorado working with children and families picking up a master's in social work along the way and winding along through Chicagoland for past 22 years in various domains in both non-profit and for-profit sectors. She cherishes time with her family, snuggling up with a good book and exploring the great outdoors.

Brian Floriani – Founder & Steward

Brian is a believer, a seeker, a reader, a dreamer and a doer; biased to action.

Raised in Dover, DE, Brian now resides in the Chicagoland area.

A recovering Golf Professional with an entomology degree, Brian feels grateful to have found his passion and his WHY – Literacy for All. Brian believes all people should have an equitable opportunity to pursue happiness and has dedicated his life to help ensure this is a reality in America.

At his core, he is an "Entrepreneur for Literacy". In 2009, Brian founded Bernie's Book Bank. Bernie's Book Bank is a children's book bank which serves more than 300,000 under-resourced Chicagoland children with 12 quality books per year from birth through 6th grade. The vision of Bernie's Book Bank is to build an ultra-effective, efficient, sustainable and scalable children's book bank model to be replicated in every major American city to assure all children have the ability to read their way to a better life. Brian remains an integral part of Bernie's Book Bank in Chicagoland and will play a critical role in national replication efforts.

Brian enjoys doing ANYTHING with his children and immediate family, and feels blessed by all things LIFE presents, its triumphs and its trials.

Jonas Broner – Chief Steward, Production & Support

Jonas, a true veteran of the promotional products industry with two decades of experience, works tirelessly to ensure all clients experience seamless service. He is personally invested in various critical issues spanning animal rights to human rights. In looking for a way to give MORE back to his community, Jonas has partnered with Freadom believing we can transform and inspire the promotional products industry to become altruistic and meaningful rather than just to turn a profit.

Jonas grew up on the Northshore of Chicago and acquired his tireless work ethic working at his father’s shoe store in Chicago. At age 11, he began working weekends in the family store. From that vantage point he saw how hard his father worked – 14 hours a day, 7 days a week – just to put food on the table.

He attended Niles North High School, was a three-sport athlete; drawing from inspirational coaches and being a part of a team, to learn the value of hard work, camaraderie, drive and discipline. Jonas attributes his success today to the many lessons he learned on the football field and wrestling mat. Jonas attended Illinois State University where he graduated with a degree in public relations. 20 years ago, he landed his first job out of college in the promotional products industry, has grown his business and expertise, and has never looked back.

Lidia Wojtusiak – Steward, Production & Support

Lidia Wojtusiak strives to make a positive impact in the world with her passionate, entrepreneurial spirit. Born on a small farm in the deep south of Poland, a place with scarce resources and opportunities, her parents made the decision to immigrate to the United States with about a thousand dollars, two babies (Lidia was just 2 years old) and lots of courage.

As an immigrant family, speaking, reading and writing English became a daily struggle. Lidia was only 11 years old when she taught her parents to speak and write English. They worked long days and nights to provide their children the freedom and opportunities they deserved. Lidia’s parents are a prime example of what it looks like to pursue The American Dream.

“My parents came here with nothing… they fought with everything they had to provide me with the best life possible. For 25 years, I watched my father strain his body in the factory and my mom clean offices just to get the family essentials. I consistently remind myself of those hard times they overcame and how grateful I am for them. This is the fuel that keeps me going…

I want each person out there to get their opportunity just like I got mine.” She will graduate from Roosevelt University in December 2022 and intends to use her education and personal experience to positively impact her community. Lidia’s parents are the reason she remains positive and motivated throughout her life; she has learned from them that with passion, perseverance and love…anything is possible.

Derek Moore – Chief Creative Steward

A creative visionary, Derek is truly one of those people whose gained a reputation as someone who is not afraid of the hard work it takes to discover, create and build solid brands. For more than 35 years, he’s landed hundreds of awards, revitalized numerous brands, and created work environments that bring out the best in his teams. Derek is a repentant advertising and marketing executive with the rare combination of both strategic and creative execution skills which he has applied across traditional, digital and data-driven media channels to build brands and drive sales. He has innovated integrated marketing and brought fresh thinking and accountability to award-winning work for a variety of brands, including Bernie’s Book Bank, McDonald’s, Gatorade, Kellogg’s, Dyson, Dewar’s Scotch, Hallmark, United Airlines, Disney, John Deere and Allstate (to name just a few).

A lover of ink-on-paper books, reading and all things artistic, he has eclectic tastes in music, books, food, drink, art and in life. Derek also enjoys cooking, gardening, fishing, spending time with his wife, Kim, his three adult children and, when he has time, making music and art.

Annie Hansen – Operations Steward

Annie joined the Freadom team in 2021 as Operations Steward with more than 35 years of experience in hospitality, project management and customer service. A lover of people with a generous servant heart, Annie believes words have power to change the world. An avid reader, Annie remarks, "I know how reading exploded joy into my children's lives and I strongly believe literacy should be a birthright available to everyone."

At Freadom, Annie leads fulfillment and quality assurance to ensure efficient day-to-day operations. "Everything happening at Freadom is for the benefit of loving our neighbor," says Annie. "We get to be the hands and feet of God." In her spare time, Annie can be seen kayaking, ice skating, laughing with her family or bicycling in her bare feet.