Charity through a Children’s Book

Charity comes in many forms– so here’s what authors can do to give underprivileged kids their best Christmas yet.

Every Christmas, millions of families facing poverty struggle to provide gifts for their children. Millions of children struggle to feel valued and find joy during the holidays. I think it’s easy for those of us who have a roof over our heads to take for granted the physical comfort and safety we experience each day. For us, Christmas and birthday gifts are a “given.” We don’t wonder if we will get them or if we can afford to buy them for someone else!

Sadly, that is not the case for many families.

When I first had the idea to host a charity event, I learned some sobering news.

The CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries ( a West Michigan based charity organization) told me that a significant number of families within a sixty mile radius of my hometown are actually living in the woods right now. Year round. Through the winter. And if you live north of Tennessee, you know how brutal winters up here can be.

Now, those of us with financial means can all do our part to support local charities. But I wanted to do more than that this time. I wanted to bring joy to the families who feel helpless at this time of year. To the parents who feel they have nothing to offer their children while other kids are going for sleigh rides and making Christmas lists and sitting in Santa’s lap. And then I thought of how many little faces I have seen brightened by The Misadventures of Melvin the Missing Sock. The kids in the classes I’ve read to, the photos parents send me of their little ones engrossed in the book… even an email I received from a precocious little girl last week that read:

Dear Shiloh,

My uncle Bob is a friend of yours and he asked you to send me your new book, Melvin the Missing Sock. I just wanted to write to thank you for writing me a note with your signature. It was a really good book and my favorite part was the part where Melvin got turned into a puppet at school This book is my new favorite book! Bye.

Lyla H.

So I knew what I had to do. And what’s more, I invite you to join in.

It breaks my heart to think of all the children who have never received a Christmas present. So let’s put a book in their hands and socks on their feet!

For every $8 donated, a family will receive a Christmas gift of my latest children’s book, The Misadventures of Melvin the Missing Sock, along with accompanying socks to keep them and their kiddos warm. To make this happen, Mel Trotter Ministries has agreed to partner with me in distributing these books and socks in our local community.

To help bring joy to these families and kids, some of whom have never received a Christmas present, I invite you to join me by donating or sharing the fundraiser link with anyone who might want to help.

You can learn more at the GoFundMe page, but I will summarize the main points:

  • The goal is $2,000 (that’s 250 families who will get a copy of Melvin!)
  • The deadline is Friday, December 18

More importantly, I encourage every author to think about the unique ways they can give back to their community this holiday season.

Not all of us are rolling in dollars– especially those of us who are writers! But you know what? That gives us a reason to get creative about the way we serve others. And getting creative is kind of in our wheelhouse, so let’s make it something special. On top of meeting physical needs, you might be able to light up some little child’s Christmas by giving them an autographed copy of a book just for them.

So let’s get out there and give some kids their best Christmas yet!

What are some ways you can give back to your community this holiday season?

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