My younger kids' elementary school recently raised over $600 selling baked goods and movie-night concessions to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Not too shabby, eh? But it got me to thinking about what I, personally, could do in the way of fundraising. As a one-income family, we don't have much left over after all the bills are paid. And I'm not talking about not having enough to eat out as much as we want to or buying only one cute shirt instead of two or choosing the less expensive manicure. I'm talking about not having much left over for basic necessities such as food (yeah, food) and winter coats for the kids. We're pinching pennies like a lot of people and it hurts. Boy, does it hurt. But I'll tell you one thing: It doesn't hurt more than someone who's lost everything.
I'm a writer. It's what I do. And if I can't, or am not willing, to help someone by doing what I love more than anything in this world (friends and family excluded) then maybe I should reevaluate my priorities. I can sit here and feel sorry for myself that we're eating canned soup for the second night in a row, but at least we have a home of our own to cook it in. We have heat and electricity and gas and water. My children aren't shivering. They aren't hungry. They're not wondering where their next meal is going to come from or if they'll get to go to school tomorrow or if they'll ever have a place to call home again. As a parent I'm not looking at my kids' scared little faces and silently worrying what the hell am I gonna do now?
But this is what I can do: write and sell books.
For every Kindle copy of TURNING POINT, THE SPIRIT KEEPER, and BLOOD TYPE that I sell during the month of November, I will donate $1 to the American Red Cross. For every print copy I sell of those same three books, I will donate $2. That might not sound like a lot, but it's about 50% of what I make in royalties from each copy sold. It's the least I can do, but I hope in some small way it helps.