This post isn’t about my writing, or at least not directly. This blog isn’t about edits, or plotlines, or release dates. It’s about responsibility I have to my community. Each and every one of us has been given special gifts and responsibilities. I’ve been given many more gifts than I deserve, that’s for sure. I’ve been given the gifts of a good home, a beautiful family, and a satisfying career. I’ve been blessed with penchant for words and the gift of gab. I’ve been graced with the opportunity to speak to a wide audience and have my words heard by many. I’m truly blessed.
With those gifts comes responsibility, specifically the responsibility to use my gifts in a way that give back to the world. I try to do that in many ways. I try to use my family as a model and a blessing to those around us, by living each day in love. I try to open my home to friends and family in need of help, or just in need of fun. I try to write books that provide honest and uplifting pictures of my community. I also try to use my access to our community as a platform for encouraging positive actions in others.
Recently, on my Facebook and Twitter I posted a link to the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program as a reputable and stable charity with strong ties to the community in Hati. The PDA is my world-centered charity of choice because of it’s outreach through local churches. By the time a disaster hits, odds are the PDA will have a person with local contacts on the ground in less than 24 hours. It was important for me to post this link as a way of giving back to the global community.
That being said, there are many places around the globe that need attention. It shouldn’t take a natural disaster or a war to make us consider giving back to our fellow human beings. It’s also worth mentioning that giving to charity doesn’t have to be a downer. In fact my wife’s friend Jackie Walton is planning to get into a tiny car and drive over 10,000 miles from England to Mongolia as a way to raise awareness about the trials and tribulations faced by the people of Mongolia every day. Jackie is super funny, and quite the adventurer. I’m can’t wait to follow her journey and support her causes through the website of Team Yaka Kahan –Yaka Kahan. If you’re looking for a fun, off beat, and meaningful way to affect change, please consider supporting Jackie (and Erol) on their amazing journey.
Finally, if you’re compelled to assist a group closer to home, one within our very own community, The Golden Crown Literary Society would appreciate your support. I hope that most readers of this blog are familiar with the group. As far as I know the GCLS is the only organization devotedly solely to the propose of promoting lesbian fiction. These people help nurture writers, educate readers, create a safe space for women-centered-women to share literature, and yes, they are the nice folks who gave me two shiny awards last year. As with many charities, they’ve taken a hit in the current recession, but they’re still advocating for readers and writers like us. They really need monetary donations to keep the conference afloat ,so I urge you to give to them just a little piece of what the lesbian fiction community has given to all of us.
If you’re still reading this, I think you’re well on your way to sainthood. Most people turn away from requests for help or money. Times are tight for all of us, but I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had our share of blessings, too. So what if we matched our blessing with our responsibilities? What if we each took one night and didn’t go see a movie but instead gave that money to a child in Mongolia who’s never seen a movie? What if we each pledged to forgo Starbucks for a few days and sent those dollars to Hati, where they’d be grateful for clean water? What if we each took the money we would’ve spent on one book on our wish list and instead gave that money to the GCLS so they can support the future of the books we love?