Authors have the gift to evoke an emotional response through words. Charities have the ability to help promote and see change. Why not join together?
While I was writing Finding Emma, my heart continually broke for families who were going through the nightmare of having a child stolen from them. I was thankful that I could hug my children every night but I knew, beyond just writing a story, I wanted to do something, anything, to help those families who couldn’t do the same. And so I decided to donation portions of my royalties to Missing Children Society of Canada (www.mcsc.ca) a local organization from my city who’s goal was to reunite families. I still donate – and in fact, 100% of my royalties from Dottie’s Memories go to this charity still.
With writing my Stillwater Series – Before the Storm and Stillwater Rising, once again I struggled with the magnitude of how the families and communities struggled with the senseless violence and knew that I needed to do something – something beyond writing books that dealt with this topic.
I want to be an author that gives back. I am so thankful to have a solid core of readers who allow me to touch their hearts with my stories, and I don’t want to take advantage of that. Some of the stories that I write – they happen today. Children still go missing daily and school violence is still something our children have to deal with on a daily basis. It’s not right. It’s not fair and if I can do anything – ANYTHING – to help stop this from happening, or to help the families who live with this on a daily basis, then I have no choice BUT to help.
Do authors NEED to partner with charities? No. But they should.
As authors, we have the gift to touch hearts and lives. We write about sensitive issues – issues taken from our own lives or from others – and use that to connect with our readers. Those are the types of books that I love to read, the same type that make me cry or feel angry or make me want to cherish the life I have, the family around me…stories that touch my heart.
But what if we were to go a step further. What if we didn’t only touch hearts through our words, but also our actions? Actors will often attend functions for charities, to help spread the word to their fans. Companies will partner with non-profit organizations on a regular basis through various events. Why not authors? I can list various authors I know who do this:
- Nora Roberts – Nora Roberts Foundation
- Brenda Novak – Diabetes Charity
- Debbie Macombers – Warm America
- J.K. Rowling – Children’s High Level Group (and a whole slew of other charities)
- Stephen King – STK Foundation
- and so many more…
By wanting to be an author who gives back, I’ve started my Sweet Hope program. It’s still new but you can get items through cafe press and Zazzle (designs are limited but will keep adding more…and if you have an idea, let me know!).
100% of any money earned through these products are donated to the charities I’ve partnered with, along with proceeds from some of my books. It’s small but every dollar helps. And I will continue to work with charities as long as my books continue to sell.