Hey everyone! So I wanted to write a post about a book this week but my mind and heart has been so focused on putting together a benefit for earthquake relief in Haiti that I really felt the need to post about it here. I had spoken in the past about my need to do more to honor my Grandfather and the country he loved so much in my post about the Romance For Haiti Auction (which raised over $55,000!) and have been feeling a pull to put together a fundraising effort. I’ve been working with/consulting other Haitian bookstagrammers about this fundraising effort that we are calling the Readers Supporting Ayiti Raffle. All raised funds would be going to the organization Sow A Seed which provides necessary materials in Haiti.
I’m going to post the letter that I have sent to various publishers, bookstores and bookish companies seeking out support but first, why am I posting this? I’m posting this to ask you help me spread the word about this effort and if you have connects, to please share them. I really wish for this to be as successful as it possibly be. I would sincerely appreciate any and all help that I could receive in this. It’s so few of us and another set of hands or brain to share knowledge is always helpful. I sincerely feel that this initiative could be successful with more assistance.
Here is the letter:
On August 14th, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti, more specifically the Southern region near its capital of Port-Au-Prince. Much like the earthquake in 2010, there were numerous structural damages, hundreds of people missing and a high death toll. Despite the devastation caused by these natural disasters, Haiti and its citizens have been fighting to get back up again but they, like any other nation, require assistance in order to find their footing.
As a person of Haitian descent, I have been contemplating what could be done to support and honor the country of my father’s, grandfather’s & grandmother’s birth. Growing up, my grandfather would tell of his time in Haiti before immigrating to the United States, from watching Mariam Anderson perform to dealing with the regime of Duvalier as well as sharing pictures of the country that has always had his heart. My grandfather was a man of many stories, whether he was telling, listening, or reading them and it is from him that I grew my love of books and stories.
In the wake of the natural disasters that have plagued my paternal families’ homeland, I sought out fellow Haitian Bookstagrammers to join efforts in combining our love for books and Haiti to brainstorm a way to support. I felt particularly inspired by the recent Romance For Haiti auction which raised over $55,000 over the course of a weekend. I want to keep that momentum going that those authors & publishing professionals created by hosting an event catering to the interests of Young Adult, Middle Grade and Children’s Book readers, especially educators and librarians.
This event would be called Readers Supporting Ayiti and it would be a raffle supporting a local organization in Haiti dedicated to relief efforts there. The organization we’ve selected is Sow A Seed which purchases and distributes medical supplies, temporary housing supplies, food, water and baby supplies to the communities in need in Haiti. For more information about their organization, their website is sowaseedonline.org. Our goal is to raise at least $5,000 but hope to surpass that number.
On behalf of the collective of Haitian bookstagrammers, I am asking for your support in order to make this initiative successful. What we are seeking are books, book bundles and/or swag that appeal to the YA, MG and Children’s book audience. The items selected would be at your discretion though our preference would be books by authors of color. The logistics around winners and shipping requirements would also be at your discretion. The raffle would be taking place from October 1st to the 10th and winners would be drawn over the subsequent week.
It is with immense hope that your company/organization would consider participating in this fundraising effort and I thank you, on behalf of the collective of Haitian bookstagrammers and myself for your time. If your team is interested in participating, please email email@example.com with your contribution(s) to the raffle as well as the logistics. With your involvement, we believe that this event could be a great success.
Latesha Dejean, @bookishgirlmagic
Bookstagrammer & Book Blogger
In the week that publishers, bookstores and book boxes have been contacted, MacMillan Publishers and Book Of The Month has committed to this effort. As excited as I am to have these two amazing organizations supporting, we know that it takes far more than that to make a successful event and that is where you, dear reader (OMG, I went full on author in author notes or acknowledgements there), come into play. If you know of anyone who would be willing to assist or know people in high places, we would sincerely appreciate the help (I know I basically said the same in an earlier post but bear with me here).
In terms of the logistics, monetary donations would be made directly to the Sow A Seed website and proof would be sent to the email in the letter to be entered into the raffle itself. Once I have more on what would be available for raffle, then that information would be posted, especially on social media but I will be sure to post it here too. So Please spread the word and share this post…I would sincerely appreciate it!
Well y’all, I’m going to wrap this up here but please know that I appreciate you all coming back to this blog week after week. If you have questions or just want to come find & follow me out on the interwebs, look me up on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can typically find me in book centered clubs/rooms (also subscribe to this blog please please please). As usual, I’m sending you tons of bookish love & wishing you happy reading! Later!