2018 Charity Drive – Final Totals

Yesterday was the final day of our efforts to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This was the third year I’ve done something like this, as well as the first year that I’ve received some help from other folks looking to also raise money for this great cause.

After tallying the totals from all of our sales, comments, podcast downloads, and new Patreon pledges, I can proudly announce that we raised $220.50 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Donations from the various folks will be made to the AFSP tonight or tomorrow (depending on what time zone those folks are in).

I would like to take a moment and thank a ton of people for all of the help they were in raising money. First and foremost, a big thank you is owed to Eve Jacob, Rebecca MacCeile, Brian Fisher, Mike Lampasone, and Tim Kilkenny for their willingness to give donations based off of proceeds from their work. Without their help, this drive wouldn’t have been possible. If you’d like to give some patronage to them — such as by buying their books or listening to their podcasts — even though the drive is over, click the links on their names in the previous sentence.

I’d also like to thank some folks who helped advertise the drive heavily. In particular, thanks are owed to Tabitha, the crew at Sounds Nerdy, Stephanie, Cherie, Charlotte, Erin, and Kaytie for their repeated sharing of content. Additional thanks are due to David, Dem, Dr. Skyskull, TravelerSan, Megan, Joseph, Emmy, Doc, Biv, Mike, Lauren, Todd, Amy, Victoria, Vic, Justin, Casey, and several more people I’m sure I’m missing who also helped share the word in some way. None of this would be possible without all your help.

If you’d like to give to the AFSP directly, I would encourage you to do so. Click the link in this sentence to be taken directly to the AFSP’s donation page.

Why Charity Matters to Me

If you only started following this blog recently as a result of my NaNoWriMo posts, you might have missed the fact that I’ve been running a charity drive to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention with the proceeds from my book as well as my Patreon page.1Additionally, any comments made on any blog posts through December 25 also generate a donation. Since that drive is coming to an end tomorrow, I’ll be posting some results from our drive on this blog by the end of the week. If you haven’t already bought something from one of the folks participating (or downloaded the free podcast that’s also part of this), I’d encourage you to go back to the introductory post linked earlier in the paragraph and see what you’d like to get for sake of donating.

That said, my primary intent for today’s post is not to push that charity drive. I wanted to take some time to talk about why charity matters to me. On one hand, my answer is a fairly stock answer. The idea of being able to do something to give something to those who don’t have the ability to get the things or services they need for themselves is appealing on a lot of levels. It’s a nice feeling when I can say that I’ve been able to use the money and resources I’ve been fortunate enough to have for myself to help those who don’t have the same privileges. 

I also recognize that while there are charities such as food banks and Toys for Tots that provide specific types of resources directly to those who need them, not all charities deal in tangible goods in the same way. Services like those provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, UNICEF, the Special Olympics, or Planned Parenthood aren’t as easy to quantify because they aren’t cans of food or dollars going directly to someone in need. The services, however, are typically things that wouldn’t be accessible to those who need those services if those charities did not exist.

Even organizations that aren’t classified as charities can often do charitable work in their communities. This is particularly common in smaller communities. This reality is actually how I experienced my first brush with charity (at least the first one in my life that I can remember).

Some time around the age of 10 or so, Christmas time was nearly upon our household. My brother and I were living with my dad, my then-stepmom, and my then-stepbrothers. We’d been struggling with finances for a while at that point, and while I did have a bit of an understanding of how much of a struggle that we were having, I didn’t have a full grasp on exactly how much of a struggle it had been.

On Christmas Day, one of the local police cruisers showed up to our house. This wasn’t a particularly odd occurrence — between one of my former stepbrothers having a few run-ins with the law, the fact that my dad went to high school with the police chief, and that we lived in a very small town, we typically saw a cop in person at our house at least once a month. The visit on Christmas Day, however, featured two of the station’s officers bringing in boxes full of toys, which my stepmom attempted to sneakily maneuver into a back bedroom without anyone noticing. I saw it happen, but didn’t think much of it. Fifteen minutes later, the policemen left, and my brother and I opened our presents — the same presents that had been guided to the bedroom before, wrapped in plastic grocery bags.

Even after couple of years and a lot of larger financial issues that befell our family, I never quite made the connection that the fact that people who weren’t my family bringing my family Christmas presents for me and my brother was an act of charity. It wasn’t until I was a junior in high school when my then-girlfriend noticed that a family we knew was the recipient of the 7th annual charity toy donation from the local police station that I realized that not only was I once part of that same program, there was a good chance my family was one of the first recipients.

While I had participated in charity things my high school had done at various points up to that point, I started caring a lot more about doing stuff for others once I recognized how I had benefited from the help of others. The following spring and summer, I volunteered at the local therapeutic equestrian center in our area. I’ve been involved with various charity drives — both ones that I’ve set up and ones I haven’t over the years — benefiting various organizations including local Special Olympics groups, To Write Love On Her Arms, UNICEF, and the AFSP. I’ve also made an effort (once I had the means to do so) to donate some amount of money every year to charities that matter to me.

I wrote this post not as a plea for you to donate to a specific charity. If you want to take part in the charity drive I’m running with some other folks, that would be amazing. With that said, there are organizations that matter to you. And I do believe that there is benefit in trying to help those less fortunate than yourself — not just for their sake, but also for the greater good2*Hot Fuzz voice* The greater good. of society. There are people who will benefit this holiday season from the charity and kindness of others. My hope is that, if you are able to do so, you consider providing that help to someone who may be in need of it.

2018 Charity Drive Update #1

Now that we’re just over two weeks into our charity drive, I wanted to give a quick update as to where we are in our efforts to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As of December 2nd, we’ve raised $69.423In the original writing of this post, this value was reflected as $69.25, though I realized I neglected to see that one of the numbers submitted to me had $0.17 at the end of it. for charity.

To say I’m pleasantly surprised with how things have gone so far is an understatement. With that said, there’s still 21 days left to raise money for a great cause. You can help raise money by buying books written by Eve Jacob, Rebecca MacCeile (either of her books), or myself. You can also support me on Patreon, as all of my patron pledges for November and December will go to charity. Finally, for every download of We Were (Kind of) a Big Deal in College on iTunes or Android, money goes to the AFSP.

If you can help spread the word, we’d love for you to do so. Thank you to everyone who has helped out so far. I’ll have another update a bit later in the month.

2018 Book Charity Drive…and Then Some

I don’t talk about my first book much anymore. It’s not that I don’t like my book — I’m still quite proud of it, in fact. Even though the book is reviewed well on Goodreads and on Amazon, there’s still plenty I could have done better in the book. Hell, I wrote an entire post talking about what I’d change in various stories if I had a chance to re-write the book on the one year anniversary of my book’s publishing.

One thing I wouldn’t change, however, is that I’ve used the proceeds from my book as a way to raise some money for charity. In 2016, I raised money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, while last year I raised money for UNICEF. As you might imagine from the title of this post, I’ll be doing the same thing this year, only with an added twist that I’ll get to in a bit.

Let’s start with the basics. If you buy a copy of my book, An Epilogue to Innocence, between now (November 19, 2018) and Christmas, all proceeds from your purchase will go to charity. I’ve chosen to put all proceeds to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, just as I did in 2016. I made the active choice to go with UNICEF last year, and though I don’t regret that choice in the slightest, I feel that the work the AFSP does is incredibly valuable.

I’ll do an update post at some point in the drive to give you all insight as to how the drive is going. I likely won’t do weekly posts like I did in 2016 (as I just don’t have time for it this year), however I will make sure to give some updates as to how things are going. For those unaware, CreateSpace and Amazon merged this year, so unlike previous years were there was a preferred link to buy my book, that isn’t the case this year.

Additionally, all pledges to my Patreon for the months of November and December 2018 will also be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This won’t just the the amount I get at the end4As Patreon takes a small cut of pledges., it’ll be the whole pledge made. I’d like to do something additional as a thank you to patrons who pledge during those months, so if you have any ideas, share those in the comments. If you don’t already support me on Patreon, click the button below and start doing so. I’d love to see you stick around past December 2018, however if you want to just pledge to me when I’m donating to charity to get the perks, that’s fine by me too.

And…rather unexpectedly since I initially wrote this post in early October, some other creators and authors have decided to also donate proceeds from their work, money based on viewer/listenership, or their time to help us out. A current list of those also taking part in this event can be found below.

Creators

Folks Helping With Marketing

Finally, if you see this post, anything you could do to spread the word would be immensely appreciated. I feel like part of why I saw such a drop off from the 2016 drive to the 2017 drive was the more limited word of mouth marketing I could do during that time. While I’ll be more active pushing the charity drive on social media this year, any help you all could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Quick Note: Charity Drive

In previous years, I’ve done a charity drive with funds from my book, An Epilogue to Innocence. I wanted to take a moment to share that there will be another charity drive this year. This year, all proceeds from my book will go to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks. With that said, I wanted to mention it now, as there are other creators that will also be doing the same with their work this November/December. Some of them (like Rebecca) have already started talking about the drive, so I figured I should say something here. I’ll have a much longer post in mid-November formally kicking off the drive which will include links to all of the folks that will also be putting money to this great cause.