Today’s guest is author, PJ Sharon. PJ is the author of HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN ICE and SAVAGE CINDERELLA. Her books are contemporary young adult romances and have garnered several contest finals.
On the road to publication, PJ decided that indie-publishing was the best fit for her books. They fall outside the norm for YA fiction in that they are not your average high school stories. Instead, they are portraits of the real life issues of older teens and their struggles with family, friends, and the guys they fall for. Although the themes are mature, evoking plenty of drama and teen angst, PJ writes with a positive outlook and promises a hopefully ever after end to all of her books. Because of this, readers of all ages will be captivated by the emotional and romantic journeys of her characters. Her books are recommended for readers 14+.
I’m putting you in PJ’s capable hands. Take it away PJ!
One of my favorite charities-Children International
Do you remember when you were a kid and your mom said things like, “Eat your vegetables; don’t you know there are starving children in Africa?” Or another favorite, “Be grateful you’ve got shoes on your feet and a roof over your head.” Of course, I would roll my eyes and assume she was using guilt to manipulate me into doing exactly what she wanted me to do. But here’s the thing. Despite her ulterior motives, I credit my mother for teaching me social responsibility.
When I was sixteen, my mom died of cancer. Shortly after, I found out I was pregnant. Being a mother at seventeen with very little family support was more than a bit challenging. I struggled—a lot. By the time I was nineteen, I was on my own with my son and figuring out how to keep him fed and clothed. Through those leanest of times, I found that my faith was what pulled me through. Faith, and an attitude of gratitude. I felt very lucky to have friends who stepped up, family who did what they could, and a healthy body and mind to cope with all of the daily challenges. It wasn’t easy, but I knew that there were people worse off than me, and it gave me perspective.
It was about that time that I decided to sponsor my first child. One of those World Vision commercials grabbed me by the throat and had me in tears at the plight of impoverished children around the world. Not only could I relate to being in need, but I could see how truly blessed I was to live in a country where I had access to clean water, food, housing, and a job that would pay me enough to provide for my child. Even if it meant waiting tables and working two or three jobs to make ends meet. I remember thinking that $12.00 seemed like so little money to make such a big difference in a child’s life. With an hour or two of my time, I could provide medicine, clothing, and food for a child half-way around the world. I could help a parent like me who was struggling even more than I was. Helping someone else, made me feel less like a victim and more like a contributing member of society. What that $12.00 did for my sense of self-worth was priceless.
Almost thirty years later, I’m still sponsoring children. I’ve been privileged to help families in Haiti, Africa, India, and China. I switched over to Children International somewhere along the way, though I can’t remember why. World Vision is a fine option for sponsorship. Either way, for $25 per month—still a pittance in comparison to the benefits it provides for a family in need—I can affect a child’s life and give them hope for a brighter future. Money goes toward education, clean water, food, clothing , and necessities. I receive letters from my sponsored child periodically with a picture of them to remind me how precious each life truly is and what a difference I’m making. They are always grateful for the assistance and know that without that help, their lives would be so much harder. I cry tears of gratitude each and every time I receive one of these letters, written in the beautiful scrolling language of Hindu and translated to English, knowing that I am affecting a child’s life in a positive way.
My favorite letter was from twelve year old Arun from India who wrote to thank me for my sponsorship and inform me that my gift had provided him with his very first pair of shoes, a wonderful blessing on his long walks to the village school. I thought of my mother and her reminder to be grateful for the shoes on my feet. I think she’d be glad to know that I was listening after all.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child through Children International, visit their website. For less than a dollar a day—spare change for most of us–it’s so easy and such a powerful way to make the world a better place, one child at a time.
Wow! What a moving testimonial, PJ. Thank you for sharing your struggles and how giving back increased your own self-worth, not to mention how many lives you have touched through the years. I think your mother would be very proud.
Want to know more about PJ Sharon? You can find her in the following places:
I love to hear from you, so if you have a question for PJ (or me) or want to give a shout out to your favorite charity, you can comment below. As always, thank you for reading!
*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.