World Disaster: Here’s How to Help

March 11, 2011 at 6:10 pm (General, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

By now, most everyone has heard of the massive 8.9 quake in Japan and the devestation following in its wake. Hundreds of people are dead, scores of thousands more are missing, and even more are injured. Countless homes have been destroyed. Nuclear power plants are offline but still hot- a rather terrifying prospect- factory fires are burning out of control, and tsunamis are rippling out across the entire Pacific Ocean. With such a breathtaking array of destruction, it seems astonishing to think that anything can be done to alleviate the disaster.

BUT- YOU CAN HELP.

There are a lot of ways to help, and I encourage you to explore those options, but here I want to tell you about an amazing organization called Shelterbox. As the name suggests, they give out literal shelters in a box: tents, food, water, clothing, medical supplies, the basic necessities to tide people over until the heavier relief efforts can kick in to rebuild. What they do is amazing, but it costs money- each Shelterbox costs about $1000.

About a fortnight ago, the fabulous Maureen Johnson woke up one morning and decided to make a difference, so she put it out on twitter and her blog that she would award on ARC of her forthcoming The Last Little Blue Envelope to one random donor and make up the difference to equal one Shelterbox. The response from readers, authors, agenrs, and editors was HUGE. The endeavor stretched across two days with a multitude of prizes and successfully raised SIX Shelterboxes.

In the wake of this tragedy, she’s at it again. You can check out the details on her blog. To donate, go here. You can choose any amount you can afford to give, because every little bit helps. Five bucks, ten bucks, it doesn’t matter if the donation is small if that’s all you can spare; that’s five or ten bucks closer to putting a family in a shelterwith food, water, clothing, and first aid. After you donate, post it up on twitter with #thelastlittleshelterbox or #nameoftheshelterbox . Winners will be drawn at random after 5am EST on Sunday March 13th. I know it’s short notice but it takes less than a minute to make a secure donation that can do so much good.

What are the prizes, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

First up is Maureen Johnson’s ONLY ARC of The Name of the Star, forthcoming this fall.

Kierstin White kicked in a signed ARC of Supernaturally as well as a signed hardcover of Paranormalcy.

Then Ellen Hopkins offered up a signed copy of Fallout and a signed cover of this fall’s Perfect.

Like Holly Black? She’s pitched in a signed copy of Tithe and a set of White Cat/Red Glove.

Or, if you’re a zombie-lover, there’s Carrie Ryan’s signed hardcover of the nearly-released The Dark and Hollow Places.

There’s also a copy of Small Town Sinners being offered by Melissa Walker.

Jessica Day George added to the frenzy with a signed ARC of her next release, Tuesdays at the Castle, and there are more being added through the day as more and more people come out to join this amazing cause. When I checked in earlier this afternoon, enough money had already been raised to purchase one Shelterbox, so keep it going!

So make a donation, make a difference, and get a chance to win a free book. Proof that books really can change the world.

Until next time~
Cheers!

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