So, it turns out that it's Giving Tuesday. I found that out this morning, when I got up earlier than usual to be part of a First Book volunteer effort in a Baltimore warehouse. From 8:30 to 1:00, about thirty volunteers helped a group of First Book staff members organize the sea (or, more aptly, cityscape) of new boxed books that Random House had donated and that First Book would be distributing to needy kids around the country. We labeled and sorted, lifted and stacked. At 1:00, when the shift was over, I had dusty clothes, sore muscles, and a lot of respect for the First Book team members, who made this rather massive undertaking (it will last a week) seem almost manageable. If you're looking to donate funds today--or any day--First Book would be a nonprofit to consider.
Another would be Hope for Henry. Last Tuesday, I saw the good work of this organization firsthand, as I spent time with kids at the Children's National Medical Center, as part of an author visit series that Hope for Henry sponsors. The organization finds great ways to make life better for kids facing chronic health conditions and long-term hospitalization. During my visit, the kids and I talked about stories and writing and what kinds of books appealed to them most. The visit ended as all the best visits do--with cupcakes.