Heroes and books …

Members of the Wounded Warriors of Canada joined other servicemen and women from the U.S. and Britain to begin this ride from Paris, France yesterday, May 27th. They will reach London on June 2nd after cycling past historic battlefields from World Wars I and II and paying homage to all who sacrificed for our freedom. In London 1,300 other riders taking part in the 2013 Hero Ride will join them, cycling to the capital from all corners of the country.

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While we are talking about heroes, I also want to shine a spotlight on a couple of literacy programs. logo-rtfRead To Feed is a school-based program whose tag line is “Teaching Children to Be Everyday Heroes”. It delivers a reading incentive service-learning agenda that offers global education opportunities and fosters in children a love for reading, a passion to help others and a motivation to make a difference in creating a better world.

As students read through teacher-organized programs, they collect pledges that will be collected as they reach their reading goals. As the website attests, “No matter the size of the gift, the impact is great. Just $20 buys a flock of chicks, which can provide a family protein through eggs and an income. For $60, students can buy trees to provide fruit for a family and at the same time help protect the soil. For $120, students can give a family a goat, which provides milk for the home and to sell for income to pay for school fees, medical care and to use to build a better, more hopeful life.”

Equally as important are programs that benefit those in our own countriesRetouched_NNP_2-338x348 and Project Night Night is one. No one needs to be reminded that children are the innocent victims of so many situations that forever impact their life. This organization works with 10,000 volunteers each year to provide homeless children with a “night-time comfort package” which includes a stuffed animal, an age appropriate book and a security blanket. Here’s how you can get involved.

Recently, a friend in Toronto told me about a birthday party her ten-year-old had attended where the guests were asked to bring a new book or two as their gift. These were all donated to the Children’s Book Bank, an organization that ensures books are made available to children who otherwise might go without.

logoThe birthday girl and her parents delivered the books to the Book Bank’s office the following weekend and a thank-you card was sent to each child who had donated. I thought it was one of the best birthday ideas I had heard in a long time! If you have heard of similar opportunities that encourage children’s involvement in charitable undertakings, let me know. I love passing news like this on!

BookExpo America begins tomorrow in New York City. Bookaholics rejoice! The biggesbook-expo-americat event in North America for the book publishing industry, it brings together publishers, editors, agents, authors and readers. The public is welcome to attend and discover the newest books and authors from around the world. It’s a regular Lollapalooza for book lovers!

Next year one of my goals is to be there in the midst of all the exciting book buzz. Are you going?

Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website www.patriciasandsauthor.com She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

19 thoughts on “Heroes and books …

  1. I am seriously considering attending BEA on Friday, Patricia, but a one day floor pass in an author capacity costs 199 clams and I’m a minion of modest means. I am sure that it’s an excellent networking event provided that I don’t get eaten alive in the cavernous Javits Center. It’s been years since I’ve set foot in there. I wish they had a category for semi-illiterate at a fee of $19.99. Anyway, I’m still debating what to do. At least I don’t have to shell out for air fare or accommodations.

    1. Unfortunately, there’s not an angle that I can latch onto at this event to get in for a sneeze. As you know, I’m pretty intrepid about that sort of thing. When I told Milton that I was thinking about attending, he could barely wrap his brain around it. He thinks I’m thinking about exhibiting. Anyway, I just registered. I hope I didn’t just throw out 199 clams. I’m working it solo. Therefore, I will be forced to take the charming side to my naturally sour disposition out of mothballs. Aside from the expense, Milton does not like to do a lot of walking. He’d be completely miserable in this environment. I can handle walking and talking or maybe in my case, it will be more stumbling and shilling.

  2. Book Expo sounds just too cool for words. It would be so great if something like that was closer to home here in California. The birthday party book theme is an excellent way to teach kids about the value of reading as well as volunteering.

  3. Oooooh to all those things. When Tech was young, we did the book donation thing. We have also had kids bring books to exchange — all the leftovers went to a local organization devoted to literacy.

    Meanwhile, BookExpo in NYC? Whaaaat? Why don’t I know about this? Man, would I LOVE to go to that! $199 for a day pass doesn’t sound terrible, especially if you don’t have to pay for a hotel or airfare — both of which I’d have to do. And I’d likely have to stay with family in Brooklyn, which means attempting to get places on the subway.

    Whatever! It sounds like a really good idea for next year! Putting joins in my jar starting today!

  4. I L-O-V-E programs that encourage reading and am especially intrigued by Read to Feed. When I leave this site, I’ll hop over to theirs to see how I might get involved. It takes one do-not-stop-at-Sassy-Flamingo to redirect funds to a worthy cause.

    Your heart is as big as that infectious smile of yours, Patricia.

  5. What a wonderful and fantastic idea of the birthday party – to give back! – and books! Books are so wonderful….and to encourage children to give to those less fortunate is something they will keep with them forver! The parents (and child) of this party are to be admired for their showing others a good message(s) – reading, books, giving.

  6. Such great programs and initiatives here that you listed. Hooray for the Wounded Warriors bike ride and the reading programs! Actually, being in NYC I just received an email for book expo.

    1. I was hoping to find a blog or update on the Wounded Warriors bike trip but haven’t had any luck so far. I hope the weather held for them as it can get pretty blustery on those Normandy beaches.

  7. I haven’t heard of those charities but I love the ideas. I really like the book as a gift for birthday parties. How cool is that?

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you get to realize your dream next year.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  8. Wow that Heroes Ride sounds like an experience to remember. I love when people give gifts in books and make book donations. I’m looking into donating books to the troops.

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