I’ll start by apologizing for how long it’s been since my last blog post. You might find this hard to believe coming from a publisher, but for the past two months I’ve been at a loss for what to say.
My birthday, April 15th, has long been known for tragedy: in 1865 came the death of Abraham Lincoln, while in 1912 the sinking of the Titanic became news. This year the date became known for another tragedy – the bombing at the Boston Marathon. To use the word tragedy in the last instance might seem like an attempt at being politically correct, in that it was an act of terrorism, but for the families affected by the events of that day no other word seems appropriate.
As if Mother Nature decided to remind us of her potential for devastation, a little over a month later on May 20th Moore, Oklahoma, was struck by an EF5 tornado.
The thing these tragedies, and all tragedies I can remember, have in common is the response by the American people. After the Boston Marathon bombing donations poured into funds set up to help victims, while after the tornado in Oklahoma volunteers descended on affected communities to help with the search for survivors and cleanup. Everyday Americans became heroes, not just by their actions on those days and the days that followed the tragedies, but through their generosity to those in need. Chris Rakunas wrote of this generosity in his book Tears for the Mountain, where he recounted his trip to Haiti to deliver donated medical relief supplies after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Divertir Publishing currently donates half the proceeds for two of our books to charity. Half the proceeds for Hurricane, by Jenna-Lynn Duncan, go to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (the book is set in pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans), while half the proceeds for Tears for the Mountain go to the New Life Children’s Home, the orphanage in Haiti featured in the book. To date we have donated a little over $1,000 to these two charities. While this is not a huge amount of money, as my mother used to say, “Every little bit helps.”
I’m going to credit a recent submission, a collection of short stories on homelessness, for helping me with my writer’s block. The book is now under contract, and we are currently in discussions to donate half of the proceeds for this book to a shelter for woman and children. In addition, I have reached out to a few of the charities set up for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing in the hope of setting up similar arrangements. I will keep everyone posted on these discussions.
My reason for writing this blog is to remind everyone that, when others are in need, it is important for those of us that are able to come to their assistance, even if it’s only donating a few dollars to a charity. Because when people are in need, every little bit helps…