Writers for the Red Cross was a tremendous success, and it’s all thanks to donors and participants like you. Thank you!
Our goal was to raise funds for and awareness of the Red Cross during the month of March, which is National Red Cross Month. Shortly after the project got underway, tragic events in Japan would raise awareness of the Red Cross on their own, as the world watched the north of Japan suffer blow after blow from a massive earthquake, devastating tsunami, and a continuing threat of nuclear contamination.
Thanks to your donations and the generous response of the community, Writers for the Red Cross raised over $30,583.07 from more than 258 unique donors during the month of March. Every penny of those donations is already in the hands of the Red Cross, and will support the organization’s local, national, and international disaster relief services.
The numbers tell the story:
So thank you. Thank you for your support, for your donation, and for everything you do in your daily life to help those in need. The world needs more of you, and we are tremendously proud to have worked with you.
All our best,
By Pamela Schoenewaldt
My image of the Red Cross is very bound up in the summer I was nine and working steadily through the children’s biographies in the Westfield, New Jersey Public Library. I was partial to famous women and picked Clara Barton, along with Joan of Arc and Helen Keller.
Searching for role models, I was distressed to hear that she’d nursed her younger brother for three years, “never leaving his side.” I loved my little brother, but three years? A little boring. Her work in the Civil War was more adventurous, like taking over a fine house and filling it with wounded men. My geometry skills were rudimentary, but when I told my mother how many wounded, bloody men we could house if war came to Westfield, she was suitably impressed – or distressed since the living room was newly carpeted.
By Rebecca Rasmussen
Every semester at the college where I teach English, there is a Red Cross blood drive, and every semester I give my blood in the school’s gymnasium on the designated day. Usually, I have to hurry along afterward to teach one of my classes. When my students see the bandage on my arm, they generally say things like, “Ouch!” or “Gross!” or “I would faint if I had to see my blood!”
I used to be like them. When I was a girl, I was so afraid of needles that I actually ran out of my pediatrician’s office with one still stuck in my arm. (People in my family still love to tell that story – that’s how epic it was.)
From premier American astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson -
A personalized and signed copy of his PLUTO FILES.
A perfect way to inspire any aspiring rocket scientist in your family!
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, director of the world-famous Hayden Planetarium, a monthly columnist for Natural History, and an award-winning author. He lives in New York City.
By Stephanie Cowell
The South Asia Tsunami, and then following it a year later, the 2005 Pakistan Earthquake and the floods from Katrina in New Orleans; the 2006 Central Indonesia Earthquake and, this past year, Haiti. It all seems so remote and yet it is not at all.
I am likely at breakfast with my coffee when I open the newspaper and faces stare out at me. Weeping children, mothers standing before the ruins of their homes, full lives and fertile fields swept away in moments. My coffee is sweet and milky, my house just the right temperature. Flood to me personally is what happens when the old water pipes in my prewar Manhattan building soak my closet contents. Family members drive to work with nothing more than a traffic jam to frustrate them. Most of us have jobs and our closets (even water-leaked) are full of clothes. We turn on lights when it is dark; our refrigerators hum, stuffed with food.
By Jennifer E. Smith
Just last month, my sister and I took a long-planned trip to Australia and New Zealand, and as luck and timing would have it, we arrived in Christchurch about an hour before the big earthquake.
At the time, we were at a restaurant right in the city centre, about a block from the historic Cathedral. There was a moment of frozen panic when the earth began to move, and then we both dropped to the ground – amid shards of glass from the fallen place settings – and spent the next sixty seconds crouched there in shock.
When it was over, we ran to the riverbank across the street, simply wanting to get out into the open. There was chaos all around us, and we were too shell-shocked to know what to do next. The rows of shops down the street were completely decimated, and all around us people were crying and screaming, some of them bleeding, others limping. Someone shouted that there was a gas leak up the block, and someone else suggested we move from where we were standing, since they were worried the bank might slide into the river.
By Joanne Manaster
The American Red Cross’ main functions fall into four areas: blood collection, disaster relief, aid to soldiers and victims of war, and community education and outreach.
In this video, I share three ways that I’m aware that the American Red Cross may have (or could have) touched my life personally. Of course, I forgot to mention in the video that I have taken first aid and CPR courses through the ARC!
From Aimee Ferris: a signed copy of WILL WORK FOR PROM DRESS with prom bling chandelier earrings, a signed copy of GIRL OVERBOARD with fun marine animal giftie, and Aimee will name a character in her next book after the recipient’s teen of choice!!
Aimee Ferris left the corporate world after her company made the ill-fated decision to send her to Hawaii on a ten-week-business trip. After living in Fiji, she joined a regatta and sailed the South Pacific landing as a PADI divemaster on the Great Barrier Reef, before relocating to the Caribbean to try her hand at training dolphins. Skydiving, playing a dead body in a dinner theater, white water rafting, and feeding sharks underwater also made the list of prospective occupations before she settled on a career of making stuff up. She now juggles freelancing for a few dozen national magazines (where she does not make stuff up), photographing her travel work and writing books for teens.
From Jay Varner, a signed copy of NOTHING LEFT TO BURN and a critique of a partial or full manuscript (up to 250 pages), accompanied by a post-critique phone call.
Jay Varner earned his M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He served as nonfiction editor and eventually managing editor of Ecotone: Reimagining Place. Nothing Left to Burn is his first book.
From Deborah Harkness, a set of signed copies of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES for your book club.
A letter from Deborah:
Why does a history professor decide to write a novel about witches? It’s a good question!
Writing a novel is a mysterious process and many of my life experiences went into A Discovery of Witches. One of my favorite books as a child was Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond. The history of alchemy and magic caught my interest as an undergraduate, and I’m still fascinated by these subjects today. And, once upon a time, I discovered a lost alchemical manuscript – although it was not (so far as I know) enchanted.
A Discovery of Witches tells the tale of a reluctant witch named Diana Bishop and her discovery of a long-lost alchemical manuscript at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. There, Diana meets Matthew Clairmont: a geneticist who happens to be a very old, secretive vampire. Witches and vampires are traditional enemies, but Diana and Matthew grow closer as they try to puzzle out the manuscript’s significance. Their search for answers takes Diana and Matthew from Oxford, to his ancestral home in France, to her family’s farm in upstate New York. But they are not the only creatures who want to solve the mystery of manuscript, and their fellow daemons, vampires, and witches frown upon their unorthodox relationship. Are these just old prejudices, or is it something more?