It’s here! The unveiling of what I have up my sleeve!
I’d like to announce that during the entire month of September I will be reading and blogging in an effort to create awareness and raise funds for the people of Darfur. There is a genocide going on right now in Darfur, Sudan. If you regularly follow my blog, I have written several times about it here, here, here, and here. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, many more are displaced. I can not sit idly by knowing that this blog has given me the opportunity to make a difference. Why choose Darfur as my soapbox of the month? After reading about Darfur and watching documentaries about Darfur, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Isn’t that reason enough to stand up and do something about it?
So what exactly is Reading for Darfur? During September every book I read, every post I write, every comment left on this blog, and every book that you read about Darfur will make a difference. How? The difference will be you. This won’t work if I’m doing it all by myself. So I ask for everybody to get involved. There are a lot of different levels on which you can do just that, so choose the one that you are the most comfortable with.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED:
- Commit to write a post (if you have a blog or website) dedicated to the Reading for Darfur campaign. Use the button shown here and link back to this page. For every person who does this I will donate 25 cents to a organization that makes a difference in Darfur (list of these organizations follow below). Put the button in your sidebar linking to this post during the entire month of September and I will donate 25 cents more.
- Commit to visit my blog on a consistent basis during September. For each comment left anywhere on my blog all month I will donate 10 cents.
- Commit to read any of the books or watch any of the documentaries listed on this page. For every book that you read or video you watch during September, I will donate 50 cents. If you have a blog and review that book or video I will donate $1. Leave me a comment on this post once you do, so I don’t have to hunt you down. I will link to your reviews during my weekly recaps.
- Commit to donate a penny for every single page that I read during September (excluding picture books and easy readers).
- Commit to donate 50 cents for every single post I publish during September.
- Commit to donate a penny for every page I read AND 50 cents for every single post I publish.
- And heck, if you want to write the post, put the button in your sidebar, comment on my blog, read a book, and sponsor me in my reading and blogging, then I won’t stop you!
The numbers may seem small, a penny here, ten cents there, but I’m hoping to make the donation reasonable for everybody involved. I’m hoping for quantity here, a little bit adds up to a lot! The more the better. Much later tonight or tomorrow, I’ll put up another post with a “what if” scenario. What if I read 5,000 pages? 10,000?
PRIZES. Of course, there’s prizes!
If you do any of the above (with the exception of leaving comments on my blog) you will be eligible to win a whole bunch of prizes I’ve been collecting. Authors and publishers are personally donating their books to this awareness/fundraising campaign. Those prizes will slowly be revealed throughout September and given away at the end of the campaign.
There is a grand prize! The grand prize will be open only to those who sponsor me for a penny for every page I read and 50 cents for every single post I publish. The grand prize will be AWESOME! As a motivator to encourage more people to participate, if I have 25 people sponsor me, I will add a $50 gift certificate to the online bookstore of their choice. If I have 50 people sponsor me, I will change it to a $100 gift certificate. Trust me, if you win, you are getting more than you put in.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE:
ANYBODY! I don’t care who you are or where you live. Sponsorship and eligibility to win prizes is open to anybody, anywhere. Friends, neighbors, family, my readers, book bloggers, general bloggers, non-bloggers, first time visitors, I won’t turn anybody away. Darfur is an international issue, so it only seems fair that anybody can join in. The only thing I ask is that if you register to sponsor me, PLEASE follow through and make your contribution to one of the organizations listed below at the end of September. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must provide proof of your donation by a certain date (yet to be determined).
Find out about the campaign right as it’s ending? That’s okay. I’ll give weekly updates on my progress so you can find out what’s going on. Join in at anytime!
WHAT I HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH:
Awareness! When this campaign is over I want everybody to know about the genocide in Darfur! Ignorance no more! And raising a few dollars along the way won’t hurt either. This entire campaign is going to be a huge sacrifice for me. I’ll be busy reading and blogging. My time will be stretched to the limit. I’ll be tired. I won’t be making dinner all month. I’m not rich. I pray that all of this work won’t be for nothing. This campaign is not about me. It’s not about my blog. It’s about the people who are dying in Darfur. It’s about men, women, and children. It’s about making a difference. Sponsor me!!!
HOW TO LET ME KNOW YOU ARE GETTING INVOLVED:
Leave a comment on this post telling me what you are planning on doing or email me at natasha (at) mawbooks (dot) com. I’d like to have an idea of how many people are participating with me. You can change your mind or “upgrade” at any time. Read through everything, ask any questions on anything confusing (because it’s clear in my head, but is it clear here?), talk it over with significant others. Decide if this is something that you can do, on any level.
Read the post that I’ll be putting up probably tomorrow for some “what if” scenarios, a video (of me!) and links about Darfur. In my weekly recaps I’d like to point out what type of awareness is happening and dollar amounts raised, so let me know you’re out there! At the end of the month, you will need to “put your name in the hat” for the specific prizes (in other words, I don’t want to win a prize you don’t want).
And as a sidenote: I understand that not everybody may be able to donate whatever dollar amount it is that I end up reading/blogging. My next post will be full of some “what ifs.” Feel free to tell yourself that you can donate up to a predetermined dollar amount and stick to it. Because trust me, my husband and I have determined that dollar amount for ourselves as well. And remember, even if you are not able to donate monetarily there are still plenty of ways to get involved that make a HUGE difference. Reading a book about Darfur will make a difference, putting the button on your blog will make a difference, leaving comments on my blog will make a difference and sponsoring me will make a even bigger difference.
ORGANIZATIONS WHO ACCEPT DONATIONS with interest and a presence in Darfur, Sudan:
Some organizations fund awareness campaigns to pressure politicians to take action and others deal directly with the people in Darfur helping with services and programs. If you choose to make a monetary donation, choose a organization that appeals to you and make your donation directly to them (not me!):
- International Rescue Committee, Donate for Darfur. 90% of funds go to humanitarian services and programs, 10% to administration and fundraising. Your donation will go specifically to Darfurians.
- Save Darfur. Funds crucial awareness and advocacy programs that play a critical role in building the political pressure needed to end the crisis in Darfur.
- Enough Project Founded by John Prendergast, funds help galvanize public and political leaders to effectively confront mass violence against innocent civilians in Darfur and southern Sudan, northern Uganda, eastern Congo and Chad.
- A list of 20 non-profit organizations who have a presence in Darfur. I recommend looking at each organization closely to determine how your donation is used.
- Another great list of humanitarian organizations in Darfur. Again, browse around and decide if one looks right for you. Everybody from The Red Cross to Save the Children.
Totally confused yet? Right, I didn’t think so! It all begins September 1st! PLEASE JOIN ME! Get started now by spreading the word to EVERYBODY you know: friends, family, your mother, the postman, bloggers, etc. Let’s make this AWESOME!