Tuesday, November 30, 2010
200th Post Celebration
Last month a friend and I went to a talk given by a woman who had survived the Sierra Leone civil war caused by the black market diamond trade. (Think the movie Blood Diamond and that is exactly how it was for her.)
While she spoke of running for her life, of her parents being shot before her eyes, and of her brother and sister having their legs amputated by a rebel’s machete, I cried with her. While she spoke of how the simple gift of a bar of soap, a book, and a notebook changed her life and the life of her step-sister, I nodded with her. I will never live through what she had to live through (God willing), but I can comprehend the power of sharing what we have. One person at a time. She spoke of how her sister received a humanitarian kit with a notebook, pencils, and paper and how that whole kit blessed the lives of her sister’s entire class. They broke the pencils in half so they could share them, they each got a piece of paper to write on and then would erase everything the next day to use it again. These children valued their education, they risked their lives to walk to school every day and they used up everything they had to make it last. Because it was all they had. The woman talked about receiving a book and how it changed her life as well. Books have a way of doing that, as well all know.
Ever since I heard this woman speak, my mind has been mulling on what one person can do. Specifically, what can I do? I am just one person. I work hard to help one person at a time; I chalk up volunteer hours every week. But it isn’t enough. My heart yearns to do more and I know many of you feel the same way.
So in celebration of my 200th post, I’m offering up to you, my blog friends, a proposal. I need help motivating myself to do more. I need someone to be accountable to. You are who I’m going to be accountable to. Please help me with my Project Give a Book, Give the World.
Here’s the plan:
For every book you give to a child (any child!), I will assemble and send a humanitarian school kit out.
The kits look like this, with hand sewn bags and purchased school supplies. Why have you give books out? Because I want kids to have books this Christmas, and I don’t care who the kid is. It will help us motivate each other and give to children in two different ways, with books and with school supplies.
This contest is based entirely on the honor system. Tell me you gave a child a book, and I’ll give you extra points to enter….
And this one:
An eclectic mix of books all by our wonderful blog friends. (Though I wish I could give all my friend’s books this time around. Next run of the project, I guess.)
Other ways to win points?
2 points for following here
2 points for spreading the word about Project Give a Book, Give the World (facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc.)
5 points for each school kit you make yourself and donate here or at another non-profit philanthropy who distributes them (please send pictures to my email on the right—I’d love to post them on the blog)
5 points for each book given to a child, even your own (children 18 and under)
1 point for adding up your points in the comments below as you get them (frequent additions to your points and multiple comments are just fine)
The amount of points to be earned is limitless!
Just please help me do more this holiday. And yes, I am begging. See? Rug burns on my knees.
Our hearts will be forever changed by the kindnesses we show.
This project will be open until December 23rd, 5 pm MST, and is of course open to international friends. As I get the donations, I’ll be assembling the kits and posting pictures and updates on the project’s progress. (If you join me in making kits, I would love to share your pictures as well!)
Now I’ll get off my knees and leave you with these:
"When you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue-you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night-there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book." ~ Christopher Morley
“Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.” ~ Edward Everett