The South Bay Literacy Council has worked continuously since 1981 to eradicate functional illiteracy. The service is, and has always been, free of charge to any adult committed to overcoming illiteracy. The Council is run entirely by volunteers and provides a free, indispensable community service. Results like the following are routine:*Adult student initially tested reading at the third grade level is now at the 12th grade level. She was able to deliver a welcome/thank you speech to guests at her daughter's wedding. She reported she did this with confidence as a direct result of her enhanced English proficiency. She treasured being able to write and deliver this speech at an important event in her family's life.*Four adult students passed the test to become U.S. Citizens in the last year.*I took my students from intermediate to advanced level by using breaking news to discuss all topics. Their informal speaking and listening skills improved tremendously, and everyday life has become easier.*Two English as a Second Language (ESL) learners successfully approached their children's teachers with confidence to ask questions. Few people can appreciate just what that means to a second-language learner.*Several students gained the fluency needed to return to the profession they practiced in their native country. For example, audiologist, accountant and manager. We all benefit from their increased confidence and fluency with the English language.