Ruth Colvin Attends WTB Open House Honoring Smita Rane

WTB co-founder Betsy Wiggins hosted a very special open house at her home Monday evening, Aug. 23. The event honored Smita Rane, long-time member of WTB living in Hyderabad, India and visiting the United States this summer. About 20 women attended—some active in WTB at our beginning after the 9/11 attacks.

They brought finger foods to share and lots of enthusiasm to visit with Smita and re-connect with each other. Smita shared her wonderful optimism and enthusiasm for her work in India. It was inspiring to hear how a group of women she helped organize in Hyderabad have pooled their talents to support women and girls in reaching their educational, financial, and personal goals.

We were honored that Ruth Colvin was able to be part of Smita’s reception. Ruth was instrumental in organizing WTB at its inception. A hundred and four years young and going strong, Ruth can only be described as a national treasure—founder of Literacy Volunteers of America (now ProLiteracy), international traveler as an advocate for world literacy, and recipient of numerous national and international awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2006).

Ruth shared wisdom garnered through her rich life experiences. She referenced her book Off the Beaten Path: Stories of People around the World (2011) when she talked of what travel can teach us about our differences and commonalities. Ruth gifted Smita an autographed copy of her recent memoir My Travels Through Life, Love, Literacy (2020).

The evening highlighted the 20-year history of WTB—and the profound ways committed women can impact their communities for good.