2022 Giveaway4Good Challenge Number One: Where you give helps define you

I believe novelty is one of the great spices of life, so when my husband suggested we drive his mother to DC on Thanksgiving day so she could fulfill a bucket list dream of seeing the World War II Memorial, my answer was hell to the yes. 

If you haven’t been, the World War II Memorial is a profound and solemn place that reveals the sheer magnitude of the second great war and its costs. Our time by the memorial included some tears and hugs, which were followed by smiles as we had a Thanksgiving-themed meal at one of the capital’s Indian restaurants.

On Black Friday, my father arrived, and we cooked our traditional Thanksgiving feast. This was followed by a weekend of rest, more food, and family togetherness.

Today is giving Tuesday. If you’ve been part of this community for a while, you know that the Buddhist concept of Dana, or giving of the alms, is a regular part of my spiritual life. I like to up the ante and the fun at the end of the year by co-creating a giving experience with all of you that I call the Giveaway4Good.

In total, my Giveaway4Good events have raised $32,489 for charitable organizations, writing centers, and local independent bookstores. Past extravaganzas have included huge prize packs, but this year, due to some health-related stuff I’m attending to, I’m keeping it simple.

Starting today, I’ll offer three challenges. Complete all three and you can join me on Wednesday, 1/11/23 from 1:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET for Starting S.M.A.R.T. in 2023—an interactive webinar that will help you trade weak or unhelpful resolutions for achievable S.M.A.R.T. goals that will help you fulfill your dreams.

The session will be recorded, so you don’t have to attend live to benefit from it. 

Here’s this week’s challenge:
Every year I devote a good portion of my giving dollars toward three areas: food equity, mental health access, and education.
To earn your first ticket, here’s what you need to do:
Make a donation of $10 or more to one of the following charitable organizations:
Feeding America (or your local food bank),
Compassionate Friends
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Your local nonprofit mental health center
One of the 826 organizations, like 826DC
Another organization that supports education equity.

Once you’ve made your donation, send me a screenshot of your receipt.

Upon receipt, I’ll send you an email confirming your first ticket into this year’s Giveaway4Good event. 

The deadline for this week’s challenge is Monday, December 6, 2022 at 7:00 PM ET.

Whenever possible, I urge you to donate more, because it will increase not just the coffers of these well-deserving organizations, but our annual total. 

One winner will be drawn from this week’s list. I will donate $100 to the charity of this winner’s choosing. 
You’ll also win a one-hour coaching session with professional storyteller and Live Lit coach, Amy Eaton.

Living with the inflation blues? You can earn your first ticket by completing three acts of kindness in your community. Simply send me an email with your three acts, and pictures if appropriate, and you’re in.

Do you have any giving values? Send me an email with your answer. While you’re pondering this question, check out this month’s reading roundup: 

Need a little book proposal assistance? Ask your friends for help.
Wondering which writing voice is the most important one? Hint: It’s not the one in your head.
Feeling grateful? How will you harness that energy and pass it on?

My Recent Publications
Should I Hire an Editor to Help Cut My Manuscript?

Craft Tips
Ten Bad Writing Habits to Break Right Now by Marion Roach Smith
How My Modern Love Essay Saved My Memoir by Mary Alice Hostetter*
How Big of a Problem Is “Head Hopping”? by Susan DeFreitas
How to Free Yourself from Endless Revision By Audrey Kalman
Write a Sympathetic Villain Your Readers Will Love to Hate by Neil Chase

Essays that Touched Me or Made Me Think: 

Wide Awake at the Dog Hotel by Beth Kephart (p. 34/35)
The Flash Drive by Sara Neufeld
Mary Magdalene and SCOTUS by Kelly Thompson
Confessions of the Only One in the Room by Laura Cathcart Robbins
That’s one Way to Propose, A Tiny Love Story by Donna Moriarty
The Box of Waves by Katie Daley

Special shout outs to red hot readers, Mary Alice Hostetter, who’s memoir Plain: A Memoir of Mennonite Girlhood will launch on December 6th, and to Madelaine Zadik, whose essay “Avoidance” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

*Names highlighted in red are also red hot readers. Please read their pieces and show them some love by commenting on them and sharing them on social media. 

As we prepare for the final month of the year, may you always find a reason to write on.

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