UPDATE: 12/4/2012 Thanks to you, we raised $200 for Kids Can Make A Difference to alleviate hunger in the U.S. During the weekend from 11/29 to 12/3 All Sales of Ivy supported Kids Can Make A Difference
Welcome to Week 2 in our 25 Days of Transformation! Last week people across the country joined together in helping New York's Girls for Gender Equity bring much needed relief supplies to the folks in the Rockaways hard hit by Superstorm Sandy. Thank you! This week we're donating 50% of the price of our book Ivy Homeless in San Francisco to another great organization, Kids Can Make A Difference. Here's why!
As we continue to mindfully make our way through the days leading up to Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanza, we see a lot of images on television, in magazines, in newspapers, and in paper ads from big box stores, of children joyously unwrapping presents. There's no doubt that getting just the right gift can make a child very happy. But, we also know how much joy a child can feel when helping others.
Pictured at the left is a young lady we've had the privilege of watching grow up, who discovered the plight of women coming out of prisons in the Bay Area, and how little support they had to make the transition from jail to freedom. For two years now she's led an effort to give each woman a care package loaded with toiletries, bus tokens, and other essentials in partnership with a local agency that also helps them get on their feet. This year Reach And Teach was there to help Annie with her project. You can read about her story here.
Who would think that a youngster could get an idea like that and then take all the steps necessary to turn it into a successful campaign? Well, our friends at Kids Can Make A Difference have believed that for years and this week in our 25 Days of Transformation series, we'd like to lift up their good work and share a little bit of our gifts with them.
For a number of years now we've made the Kids Can Make A Difference - Finding Solutions to Hunger curriculum available through our web site. It has been used in middle- and high-schools, after school programs, religious schools, distance learning programs, home schools, and local food banks. It features uplifting, engaging, interactive and challenging lessons on the causes of and solutions to domestic and international hunger. It examines contemporary development projects, the role of the media, famine vs. chronic hunger, the working poor, and more, as well as valuable ideas for how young people can make a difference in their communities and in the world around them.
Homelessness and hunger too often go hand in hand. We recently sought advice from Larry and Jane Levine, co-founders of Kids Can Make A Difference on an idea we have to tackle the issue of child and family homelessness called Project Ivy. They gave us great encouragement, as well as some loving and wise suggestions on changes we should make in our plans. Click here to read about Project Ivy.
A few years ago our friends at PM Press (our publishing partners) suggested that we take a look at a manuscript Summer Brenner had written. It was a revamp of a book that had been previously published, but was out of print. Ivy Homeless in San Francisco is a children's novel about a homeless girl and her father and their lives on the streets of San Francisco. Reach And Teach had gotten our start looking at and trying to find ways to educate children about the issues of homelessness and hunger so it seemed like a perfect fit for us. It was. We published it in 2010 and it has won great accolades and two awards, The Moonbeam Children's Book Award and the Children's Literary Classics Award.
Summer Brenner had been inspired to write Ivy after she had volunteered at a shelter for women and children. The real stories she heard in that shelter broke her heart and she knew that the world needed to know more about the less visible, less known, less talked about side of homelessness. Ivy was born.
The book is absolutely wonderful, a great tale that in some ways reminds you of Dickens' Oliver Twist, in other ways the Adventures of Lassie, and in still others a bit of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. Children's reviews have been terrific and we think that the book would make a great stocking stuffer for any child 8-years and up. Plus, it can help spark a child's compassion for and a desire to do something about children and families who are homeless and hungry in their own communities.
This Weekend All Sales of Ivy Will Support Kids Can Make A Difference
Starting Thursday November 29th through Monday December 3rd, Reach And Teach will donate 50% of the price of Ivy Homeless in San Francisco to Kids Can Make A Difference. Our country and world have a lot of problems but children who grow up understanding those problems and believing that each of us can make a difference will help solve even the toughest challenges. Kids Can Make A Difference understands that and has been empowering children to be the change for a very long time. This weekend, as we mindfully make our way through what our local newspaper calls "A Season of Sharing," we hope that sharing Ivy Homeless in San Francisco can be yet one more seed of learning that eventually helps relieve the suffering of the way too many people who are hungry and/or homeless.
Click here to buy a copy of Ivy Homeless in San Francisco!