Friday, November 28, 2014


Black Friday
Small Business Saturday (shop at your local indie bookstore!)
Cyber Monday
And a new tradition: 
#Giving Tuesday

Two years ago, a movement was born to kick off the holiday giving season. December 2, 2014 is #Giving Tuesday, an initiative that celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations. 

Giving can be as simple as dropping coins in a can or donating a toy, but to have a bigger impact, it helps to do your research. Charity Navigator is one place to start. For tips on giving, read their guide.

Prefer to give a hand up over a handout?
Microloans are one way you can have an impact. You choose an endeavor to support, you make a loan, you get updates on the progress, you get paid back, and you repeat the process again with a new project.  Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty, and you can lend as little as $25. If you're a YA reader/writer, you can guess which super-star author created the Nerdfighters team on Kiva. “We loan because…we aim to decrease world suck.” 

Want to lend a hand?   
Volunteer Match helps individuals and groups find local non-profits who need your time. 

Charitable giving is something we tend to keep quiet about. 
It doesn’t feel right to say, “Look what I did!” 
But the more people know about your efforts, the more likely they are to join you or support another cause that's important to them. So please, shout out, so others can jump on board.  

The SCBWI community has been rallying around a campaign to increase diversity in children's books. Find out more at:

SCBWI-MI member, Shutta Crum, gives back by giving a scholarship to the annual SCBWI winter conference in NY. The December 10th application deadline is fast approaching. Find out more here.

Since this is a blog about reading and writing for children, I'm shouting out for InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit. IO's Mission and Vision:

"By immersing students in the joy and power of poetry and literary self-expression, InsideOut inspires them to think broadly, create bravely and share their voices with the wider world. Guided by professional writers and celebrated by publications and performances, youth learn that their stories and ideas matter and that their pens can launch them off the page into extraordinary lives."
Now it's your turn. Leave a comment below and shout out for a charity/non-profit organization. Local, national, international, relating to reading, writing, the arts, or any other need you feel passionate about, please share.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Kristin Lenz


  1. Please join the movement and help Friendship Circle #GiveSoul to hundreds of adults with special needs. With your help the #GiveSoul campaign will raise funds and awareness for the Farber Soul Center. The Soul Center will contain art studios, a gallery and cafe and will be the home of the new Soul Studio Arts & Culinary Program. This program will give our young adults with special needs the opportunity to learn vocational skills,harness their creativity and reveal their talents to the our community.

    Consider making a gift on #GivingTuesday. Any donation of $50 or more will entitle you to a special gift designed or handcrafted by an adult with special needs. Plus, every donation will be matched dollar for dollar by the Farber Family. Donations can be made at

  2. The Friends for Haiti nonprofit helps Haitians go to school and stay in school so they can help their country lift itself up. Kim Tomsic has organized an online auction to raise money for the cause. Its a win-win because the auction has critiques, signed books and illustrations, and lots of goodies for children's lit people.

  3. I participated in the epals program the last couple of years. In this program, adults are matched with students in schools in the U.S. Together, they read books and write letters to discuss them. It's a great way to get kids interested in reading. It also shows them how to discuss a book and how to write about it.

  4. I just learned that if you pay your donation through Pay Pal, they'll donate 1% today. I'm not sure it applies to every charity, but they mentioned, American Red Cross, Charity Water, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and St. Jude Research Hospital.

  5. The Vista Maria READS program accepts books for young women who have been abused and neglected. Vista Maria is located in Dearborn, MI.
    Donations of gently used or brand new paperbacks in the girls’ favorite genres are always welcome! We need Young Adult Urban Fiction, Young Adult Paranormal Romance, Biographies, Self-Help Books and Young Adult Fiction. Donations must be appropriate for girls age 11 to 18 years. - See more at:

    In addition to books, they also accept items for their girls in residence: toiletries, socks, coloring books, socks, etc. Items can be purchased online and shipped directly to Vista Maria, to the attention of Becky Hermann.

    If you're feeling charitable, I hope you'll join me in supporting the girls of Vista Maria!