When it comes to gifts, I’m very much in the “it’s the thought that counts” team. If I’m able, and if I know it’ll make someone smile, help someone, or make a difference somehow, I happily give of my time and money to support projects or causes I believe in.
But I’m often left wanting to do a little more. So I’m sharing these links with you, in hopes that, if you’re inspired, you’ll share or offer your support as well. Thanks for reading and helping me get the word out. Happy holidays!
Austin Bat Cave’s Dream Big Campaign: This year I started volunteering for an amazing organization called Austin Bat Cave. They provide free writing and tutoring programs for kids, and right now they’re raising funds to help publish their annual anthology of student work. Through Dec. 31, they’re accepting donations from $1 and up—any little bit helps. Click here to learn more about the program, to donate, or to help get the word out.
Le Boss the Rapping Racehorse: I guess you could say storytelling runs in the family. For years, my brother-in-law has been working on an animated show about a thoroughbred racehorse who dreams of becoming a rap star. It’s been called Mr. Ed meets the Boondocks, and I’m so proud of how he’s put all his heart into it. He has a Kickstarter campaign going until Dec. 21 to raise funds for the pilot episode. You can help by donating even a small amount or spreading the word.
A gift idea for the teachers in your life: At the first writer’s conference I ever went to in Miami in 2008, I met a smart, witty, no-BS high school English teacher who told me she’d written a book full of honest, hilarious, non-sugar-coated advice for new teachers (she’s also responsible for forming the first writing group I ever joined, for which I’m forever grateful). About a year later, Roxanna Elden had published her book, and See Me After Class was such a success that the second edition was published last month. Know any teachers who this book would make a great gift for? You can buy the book here or share it with friends.
Wrap a book for a good cause: One of my favorite things to do this time of year is spend a few hours at a bookstore, wrapping gifts for charity. You know the ones: you can usually find a table of volunteer wrappers at B&N or your local indie who’ll wrap your gifts for free (though donations are accepted). The way it works is that volunteers from all sorts of organizations take a shift. I’ll be at Bookpeople this year wrapping books for the Bess W. Scott Scholarship fund for young journalists. If you have a few hours to spare, check your local stores to find out which organizations are participating and how you can sign up, too.
Thanks for letting me share these links with you. Your turn: what are some causes, projects, etc. you’d like to draw attention to this time of year?