WRITING FOR DISASTER RELIEF: MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH OUR WORDS
From Sarah Ballance
Today I've brought a slightly different kind of guest blog, and I'd first like to thank Rachel for offering her blog so fellow author Elaina Lee and I may share this with you. As you read through this information, please keep in mind our new titles—Elaina's TO URN HER LOVE and my story HAWTHORNE—are available for just $3 each with all proceeds to benefit the relief efforts highlighted below. We hope you'll consider a donation through a book purchase, and thank you very much for your time as you visit with us today.
WHEN DISASTER STRIKES, there's a moment when we forget all boundaries. Geographic, political, and socioeconomic divisions fall, and there, for some of the most painful, beautiful moments in time, we are one.
Then—hour by hour, day by day, week by week—the vast majority of us lucky enough to do so will move on. As the headlines change our focus moves elsewhere, and save for the occasional media update, many of us don't look back.
Some, however, struggle to look ahead. Here's a glimpse at the staggering numbers and the broken realities affected residents of Alabama and Japan must face every day.
ALABAMA TORNADOES – April 27, 2011
The mile-wide F5 tornado that literally sliced the state of Alabama in half stayed on the ground for an astonishing 300 miles—a record-breaking distance, according to National Geographic. It also left a path of utter devastation in its wake, and recovery hasn't been easy, as evidenced by these facts reported by blog.al.com.
· 25,081 families were denied FEMA insurance, including many whose homes had been wiped completely off their foundations. FEMA's reason? Insufficient damage.
· Following the April tornadoes, FEMA deployed 523 inspectors to the region. Together, they've inspected over 5,000 properties a day. That's a lot of destruction, folks.
· Of the $4 million in initial FEMA aid for Alabama, $3.1 million went for temporary housing alone.
JAPAN EARTHQUAKE – March 11, 2011
A June 29 update from Red Cross Japan reveals the following sober statistics:
· 75,215 people from the three most affected prefectures are still living in shelters or other temporary housing. 7,427 are still missing, their loved ones fearing the worst.
· 119,776 claims for unemployment were filed between March 11 and June 8 in the three most affected prefectures.
· 97,183 people have been evacuated from the area surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. 35, 514 have left the Fukushima prefecture, forced to start over with nothing.
You Can Help … Today
Authors Elaina Lee and Sarah Ballance, through the generosity of the Astraea Press charity program, are proud to announce 100% of profits from their novellas below will go toward Alabama and Japan Disaster Relief, respectively. As an additional token of appreciation for your support, if you have purchased either of their titles you are invited to contact Elaina or Sarah for a free gift (while supplies last).
Caylie Abrahms bad day gets worse when the teen brother she's responsible for proudly hands her a gift. Just wanting to show how much he appreciates all his sister does for him, Kyle steals what he believes is an ornate glass vase. The gift is anything but however, and now Caylie has to find the owner of an urn. Worst yet, she has to explain her dear brother stole someones loved one.
Against all odds she learns the urn belongs to Rick Marshall, her best friend from college, the man she'd poured her heart out to and been rejected by. She never thought she'd see him again, let alone have to hand him back his father in glass. Will her resolve remain strong in his presence, or will she suffer another broken heart?
After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it took ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home. She sought peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she found was an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she could right.
Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett never forgot about Emma Grace. In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents revealed a truth that could cost him everything. What he found gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?
If you'd like to receive free promotional materials, please contact Elaina @ forthemusedesigns at gmail dot com or Sarah @ sarah at sarahballance dot com. Available while supplies last.
SOURCES: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/04/110428-tuscaloosa-birmingham-alabama-news-tornadoes-science-nation/ | AL.BLOG.COM http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/06/alabama_tornado_recovery_fema.html |RED CROSS JAPAN http://www.jrc.or.jp/vcms_lf/kokusai_290611.pdf | Photos by Elaina Lee (July 9, 2011)
This is an amazing appeal, Sarah and a fantastic idea as a way for other authors to come together to think how they can help this appeal and others. I, for one, will be downloading a copy of both yours and Elaina's book and I wish you all the luck in the world with your campaign.
Sarah and Elaina would love to hear from you!