Last week my family watched American Idol Gives Back and I really enjoyed seeing my sons’ reactions to all the wonderful causes benefiting from viewer donations and their excitement at being a part of such a massive relief effort–even if on a really small scale. Collectively small contributions can have massive effects. The entertainment industry has had success with raising awareness and funding with collective projects such as Band Aid and We Are the World. In the same spirit, Romance Writers’ of America hosts their annual “Readers For Life” charity Book Signing. This July Publishers and authors will donate thousands of books to be sold at the signing, 450 authors in one room, the proceeds going toward the promotion of literacy.
May 1st will kick off another very special event – Brenda Novak’s 4th Annual Online Auction to benefit Juvenile Diabetes. Unlike the other events mentioned, which are put on by large corporations, this is an amazing event started and powerhoused by one amazing woman. Brenda Novak is a bestselling author and a mom directly effected by juvenile diabetes–and determined to help find a cure. In 2002 I attended my first RWA National Conference and had the pleasure to sit beside Brenda on my flight home. I was a new member to Sacramento Valley Rose RWA where I had met Brenda and knew her to be one of the nicest and most encouraging published authors you could hope to meet. On the flight home we talked about our families and missing our kids and Brenda shared her worries over her youngest of five children and his life-threatening struggles with juvenile diabetes. Nothing can be more frightening for a parent than to have their child be under constant siege of a life-threatening disease. A few years later I was thrilled to hear about the benefit she was putting together to aid diabetes research. The support she managed to rally inside and outside of RWA was awe-inspiring. In the past three years her auction has continued to grow.
Last year Brenda’s auction raised $300,000 for diabetes research. She is hoping to double that this year with a stellar collection of donations. Items are up for preview on the auction site, so be sure to take some time to check out the hundreds of spectacular items donated: books, gift baskets, quilts, computers, televisions and some incredible getaways like a week at Eaton’s dude and cattle Ranch in Wyoming (my western bias is showing J) donated by author Jami Alden and her brother.
This year Petticoats & Pistols has donated a Western Loot Bag—P&P tote bursting with autographed western reads, western movies, a silver feather pendant and some other fun goodies.
There are so many fantastic items and this is a wonderful cause…so spread the word and cast your bid—the fun begins on May 1st
I have to say, Brenda is an inspiration to me as an author, a mother, a friend, and a genuinely generous person. Care to share someone who’s been an inspiration to you?