Today’s Authors Give Back guest is Amber West. Amber is a Northeastern transplant dodging rodent sized bugs and sweltering heat in the jungles of Central Florida. When she isn’t battling the urge to pass out, she’s busy being a wife, mother, geek, photographer, and writer, in no particular order. You can read her ramblings at her website or find her on Twitter where she abuses hashtags and makes people laugh. Or at least, makes herself laugh.
Amber actually has two charities to talk about today – so take it away, Amber!
When it comes to giving back, I don’t have a single charity I favor most. It seems, sadly enough, that there is always a need, so I try to give to a variety of charities when I can, whether it be a monetary donation, or giving of my time.
I chose a couple of charities to give to when I started something called the #GoWithout campaign on my blog. The idea behind the campaign was to encourage other bloggers to take stock of what they had, however little, and give up one small thing. That one small thing they chose to “go without” would allow them to give to someone else.
The charities I recommended included various children’s charities, as well as a well-known breast cancer charity, all causes that I felt strongly about.
Over time, I used Go Without to give help to women I’ve met through social media who needed it as well.
The latest cause I’d like to feature is a push to get reading material to young people who don’t have access to it.
I grew up loving books. I came from a large family with a small income. The library was my best friend, and my mother, even on our limited budget, made sure I had plenty to read. I appreciate the value of access to books and would love to ensure that other children have the same opportunity I had to develop that love for literature.
To that end, I recently wrote a post putting the call out. For authors of children/MG/YA books, the request was for them to send copies of their own work to an organization that provides books to schools and libraries that need them.
For those who don’t have their own work to give, I recommend purchasing a book, or making a donation to another organization designed to bring books to kids in need.
The first organization is Lisa Libraries.
Lisa Libraries donates new children’s books and small libraries to organizations that work with kids in poor and under-served areas.
This group came to my attention when I saw a photo on Facebook of my sister-in-law’s mom gathering books to restock a school library that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. After contacting them to see how we could help, I found out that they also accept gently used books and get them to places in need.
For those who want to make cash donations, I recommend Kids Need to Read.
Kids Need to Read works to create a culture of reading for children by providing inspiring books to underfunded schools, libraries, and literacy programs across the United States, especially those serving disadvantaged children.
This organization has some pretty awesome founders: PJ Haarsma, author of the uber-cool Softwire series (seriously, go check him out), and his good friend Nathan Fillion, two guys who get how important it is for all kids to have access to good reading material.
I know Rhonda has some great writers who follow her blog, and as writers, you should all understand the importance of cultivating that love for books at an early age. Please consider contributing in some way to one of these great organizations.
Thanks for the wonderful post, Amber! I hadn’t heard of Lisa Libraries before, but I did run across Kids Need to Read one day last year while
cyber-stalking, googling Nathan Fillion. And of course, I then had to google PJ Haarsma and start his Softwire Series which I really like! I think Kids Need to Read is an awesome charity. In fact, I’ve been going without my weekly Starbucks this month so I can give to it. There’s nearly 5 weeks in January so that’s an easy $25 rounded up.
Lisa Libraries sounds great as well and I’d definitely donate some of my books if I wrote for children. Like Amber, I practically grew up in a library, making weekly plus trips with my mom and sister. What would I have done without Nancy Drew?
For more information on what Amber is asking from authors (and anyone else who wants to join in) read her January post here.
In the meantime, check out Amber’s debut novel, The Ruth Valley Missing.
From the Amazon description:
Jameson Quinn is sick of trying to find herself in the big city. After a gallery opening ends in a trip to the ER and an argument with her self-involved boyfriend, she decides to take off for the peace and quiet of a small town — Ruth Valley.
The small town has everything Brooklyn lacked: simple people, peaceful surroundings, and a feeling of safety. Jameson even finds the perfect house to rent from the town’s most eligible bachelor, Sheriff Jack. Life is finally headed in a promising direction.
But something isn’t right. A young man is mysteriously injured, then disappears — and Jameson finds he isn’t the only person to suddenly vanish. The suspicious behavior of an abrasive nun and a creepy priest set her off on an investigation of what’s really happening. Will she figure out the secrets of Ruth Valley before she’s the next to go missing?
Sounds great, doesn’t it? You can find the ebook and paperback it at Amazon.
And if you want to connect with Amber you can find her at:
You know I love hearing from you, so leave a comment if you have a minute. Have you heard of these two organizations or about Amber’s Go Without Campaign before? If you plan to participate – leave a comment and I’ll randomly pick one lucky participant to win an ecopy of Amber’s novel, THE RUTH VALLEY MISSING, and one participant to win an ecopy of TALES FROM THE MIST, which includes my short story, The Consuming – my treat as a thank you for helping children be able to read – so Go Without and Give Back!
As always – thanks for reading!
UPDATE: THE WINNERS ARE:
MARCY KENNEDY – THE RUTH VALLEY MISSING
EDEN – TALES FROM THE MIST
Congrats!!! I’ll be emailing each of you to find out which format you’d like.
*For legal reasons I feel I have to add this disclaimer: I have no connection with any charity mentioned in the Authors Give Back segment of the blog unless noted. I have not personally researched any charity mentioned unless otherwise noted. If you plan to donate to ANY charity (mentioned here or elsewhere) you should research it thoroughly and decide for yourself if it is a legitimate and worthy cause.