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….

A giveaway for this book:
And this one:
And this one:
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


  1. hi miss jackee! wow what a cool idea. first i gotta say you could need to read that book or see its movie called the power of one then you could know just one person could change the world. for sure im gonna be part of helping. i gotta copy all that stuff you said so i could know what im doing. ha ha. did you know you already make a difference in peoples lives cause of your blog. you make a big difference in mine for sure. :)
    ...hugs from lenny

  2. This is a great way of celebrating your 200th post! It must have been amazing to listen to the woman who'd survived the Sierra Leone civil war . . .

    Congratulations on those posts, by the way. :)

  3. What a wonderful idea and a great way to embody the true spirit of Christmas! Take care and congratulations with your 200th post!!! xx

  4. Jackee,

    This is a great project--I'll post about it on Friday, and link back to your blog :)

    Good for you, and thanks for the reminder of the power of books, even in the most extreme circumstances.

  5. This is so wonderful, Jackee. And I'll definitely be back to help out in the effort! :)

  6. Jackee this is such a beautiful idea. I love it! I'm posting about it tomorrow. You're a treasure, girlfriend.

    Also, congratulations on you 200th post! It's a major achievement to last that long in the blogging world.


  7. Okay, so I bought 2 books for Isaak for Christmas... does that count?! You are such a good person. I am proud to be your sister! Good luck with you kind endeavors!

  8. What a wonderful idea. You are such a sweetheart. I always give my kids books for Christmas. I'll let you know how many I'm giving soon!

  9. My husband and I could not get that movie out of our heads. It was so devastating and depressing. I give you so much credit for reaching out to help the world.

  10. That's wonderful Jackee. I'm promoting this on Facebook right now.

    I have several books I've been saving to donate to an organization like "Toys for Tots" this season.

    Congratulations on reaching 200 posts.

  11. Wow!! What a wonderful idea! You really are an angel!

    - follower - 2
    - tweet - 2
    - donated 5 books this weekend to Christmas Cheer
    - giving 1 kid books for Xmas
    - adding up 1

    11 points :)

  12. Such a wonderful celebration! When I hear a story like that one, it makes me feel like a big whiner/slacker. We have SOOO much to be thankful for and we take most of it for granted.

    Thanks for putting things back into perspective!

  13. Wow, Jackee - what an amazing thing you're doing! And I love that you're giving away books by fellow bloggers - that is so, so cool!

    The bible study group at my daughter's school just made kits of Christmas gifts to send to children in disadvantaged countries and we watched videos about it. It's amazing how much such a small thing can mean in the life of a child.

  14. WOW. What a moving post. Watching that movie was a pivotal moment for me.

    I am giving two books - one to my niece and one to my nephew. +10

  15. Look at that beautiful humanitarian kit. I can just imagine a child's excitement at getting something like that, when they think half a pencil is something special. I RT'd this as the post that made me cry, and yes I give away books regularly to our local Deseret Industries. I'll link to this contest next week (and thanks for using Farm Girl as one of your featured books! That makes me smile.)

  16. If you're looking for recommendations for Books for kids, I've posted Part 1 and Part 2 of Gifting Books to Kids, where I look at kid-readers like The Little Professor and The Chill Seeker and match books to them.

  17. Ok, here's my tally so far:

    2 pts for following
    2 pts for linking
    5 pts for each book x 20 books (so far, I'm still shopping) = 100
    1 pt for adding up

    105 pts

    Ok, I kinda feel silly claiming over a hundred points, but seriously, I'm wacky when it comes to buying books for Christmas. :)

  18. Ho ho! I now plan on giving more books for Christmas. I'll be back with an exact number in the upcoming weeks. :)

  19. What a great idea! I'll be posting a link to this blog on FB later this week! :) THANK YOU!

  20. What a great idea! I love it. :) Sounds like a fabulous talk (and individual).

    I'll have to come back to this, too (It's book fair time at our school!) :)

  21. What a great idea! What a great way to celebrate your 200th post. You're wonderful! I'm posting this week...will give you a shout-out. I lived in Nairobi, Kenya, for three years and have traveled much of Africa. Like you said, education is prized beyond our wildest imaginations here. School fees are steep, supplies rare and costly. If kids don't make the grade, that's it. So they study, really study. I met many Kenyans with fourth grade educations who spoke four languages, including fluent English, without grammatical errors. Inspirational!

  22. What a wonderful idea, Jackee. I'll be giving books for Christmas for sure and sending you an email about the kits...You have a wonderful heart. :)

  23. This is such a GREAT idea! I'm so giving books to my pre-school classes for Christmas this year now. Mwahahahaha! And assembling kits at home with the kids seems like a good thing for us to do this season. Thanks for the motivation, Jackee!

    And congrats on your 200th post!

  24. What an amazing idea--you brought tears to my eyes. I've filled out the form, but just wanted to comment to tell you what a great idea I think this is.

  25. What a wonderful idea. I am truly inspired by your kindness. Books are always the best gifts, anyhow. I'm giving books to both of my daughters and two of our kids' friends (total of seven books so far. I'm sure this will increase!). Total of 35 points.

  26. This is awesome, Jackee! A book can make such a difference in a kid's life and the holidays are a wonderful time to practice the gift of giving. For whoever wins my book, I'm happy to mail a signed book plate.

    And congratulations on your 200th post!

  27. Gave you a shout-out on my post! Really hoping you get lots of participation!

  28. What a wonderful contest! I filled out the form and am putting you on my side bar.

  29. This is a great idea and I will definitely be participating in this. Will visit back soon and let you know how it goes.

  30. Wow that is a moving tale. I can appreciate how those children woulfd value their education. Bless them all. Glad her story turned out to be a positive one. Congratulations on your book/humanitarian kit mission. It reminds me of the Christmas Boxes with Samaritan's Purse. :O)

  31. Jackee, wanted you to know I blogged about your wonderful project. And I'm giving away two more books for Christmas.

    Previous points: 13
    Points added: 12

    Total Points: 25

  32. WOW!! What a story! It has totally made me stop and think of all that I have. Thank you for doing such a wonderful thing.

  33. This is such a sweet thing you're doing for the kids. :D

  34. Back again--I've blogged about this competition today. I'm still thinking about the story that prompted you to launch this in the first place. It really puts things in perspective.

  35. Jackee, this is so awesome. I read the post the first day you posted it, but then my baby got sick, so it's taken me this long to sit down and tell you how incredible an idea this is!! Thank you for doing this.

    I posted about this project on my blog just now. (+2) And I'm a follower. (+2)

    I've bought 13 books to give to kids so far. Is that really 5 points per book? (13*5 = 65)

    Point total so far = 69.

    You are cool. Have fun making those kits! I think this would be a fun thing to do with my kids too, so I may be back with more points. :)


  36. This post is awesome. I'm always donating and giving used and new books.

    The survivor's story is chilling. It's a glimpse into both human cruelty and resilience.

  37. What a great idea Jackee! And congrats on your 200th post. I'll check back in once I've got my Christmas giving ideas under control :)


  38. How good that a lovely and worthwhile idea has come out of something so sad. I've got a little confused over the points system here. I've followed and once I've posted this comment I'll tweet. We're giving books to three of our grandchildren this year and we're about to post off a lovely feely, cardboard book for our baby niece.

    Congrats on your 200th post and here's to the next 200!

  39. I can't believe I haven't commented on this so far! What a great idea, Jackee. Jappy 200th post - an amazing way to celebrate it by making a difference!

  40. Happy 200th post celebration! Your blog is great and I find myself coming back even when I don't have the time to also comment...

    You've had a great idea, this is a fun way to party :)
    Wishing you ideas for many upcoming posts!

  41. I forgot to mention in my previous post that I also gave three kids' books to a children's charity. You are so generous, and I'm moved by your kindness.

  42. I love this idea, Jackee, and will tally up my books and report back. I have a handful in my Amazon cart (ummm... yes, I do) for friends. Congrats on your 200th post as well!

  43. Inspiring post! As a grandma I have always given books to my grand kids. I like to put my picture in the front cover so they always remember who gave them the book and why. This next year I plan to record several of my favorites so they will have the book and my voice reading it to them.
    Congrats on your 200th follower!

  44. Just filled out your form. Still think it's a wonderful idea!

  45. This is too much, so you don't need to count more than five, but I am giving 15 books to children this year. That's what I gave every child on my list for gifts.


  46. an incredible endeavor! I love giving books to children, so glad you left a comment on my husband's blog!
    Keep up the amazing blog and your work of kindness/education.

  47. Five more books purchased for kids. That brings my total to: 69+25= 94.


    Amy :)

  48. Aha - I entered just in time! 13 points for me. Wow - some people are giving away a LOT of books - that is so incredibly awesome! Again, thanks so much for doing this Jackee! You're going to touch so many children's lives!