pen rainbow

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday—The Reading Corner—Writers for The Red Cross

Bibliophiles To The Rescue!

Good books for a good cause

I saw a Write4Red tweet this morning and thought I'd pass along the info to anyone who would like to help with disaster relief in Japan.  It is an online fundraiser for The American Red Cross, and since it is American Red Cross Month (March 1-31), it's a good time to get involved in some very much-needed relief efforts.  

First, a little patriotic, red-white-and blue, all-American history background on the Red Cross.  Clara Barton—nurse, teacher, civil rights activist, and superwoman—founded the first American branch of the Red Cross on May 21, 1881, in Dansville, New York.  She was a Victorian-era woman, and they had what it takes to get the job done.  They were educated and fearless, and they transformed their ideas into actions that to this day represent what is good and right about benevolent causes.  

She got the idea from a Swiss businessman and social activist named, Jean-Henri Dunant, who after witnessing the suffering of soldiers left on the battlefield in Italy, launched the formation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863 and began the process which led to the creation of the Geneva Conventions in 1864.  He was recognized for his global humanitarian efforts with the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901.  

Writers for the Red Cross is an online fundraising event organized by a eclectic group of accomplished women, mostly from the South.  Donors who give $25 or more are given the opportunity to select 1 free book from a list of books that are being donated and shipped by the publishers for the event.  If you're a Kindle reader like I am, you can choose to forgo the book and simply donate funds.  

Part of the funds go to the host chapter (the Nashville Area Red Cross) and part go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.  

In addition, for every book purchased separately (aside from a donation) through the Writers for The Red Cross website, partner bookstores are donating 5% of the purchase price to the Red Cross.  Plus, you get a second book for free.  This buy-1-get-1-free offer is part of a program sponsored by the Southern Alliance for Independent Booksellers.  Two books for the price of one using the W4RC website!  Not bad, if you like to read books the traditional way.

Here's the American Red Cross link, if you want to donate directly through the ARC site.