Open Arms provides support to women in-need during pregnancy, birth, and the early years of childhood. These are women who don't have many resources or who may be new to this country. Open Arms helps educate them and make sure they're taking care of themselves during pregnancy. They provide doulas to assist with birth and breastfeeding and then continue checking on the babies and helping with parenting education for up to two years. Because here's the thing: having a baby is hard. That sounds like a cliche, but it's so true. If you've had one, you know. It was hard for me knowing what to do, and I had plenty of resources and support. I can't even imagine what it would've been like figuring out how to care for a new little person without the proper knowledge or even speaking the local language! Open Arms visits these families to help make sure these babies are taken care of and that their parents are able to keep taking care of them. Studies have shown this kind of intervention helps prevent child abuse/neglect and increases the likelihood of babies growing up healthy and well-adjusted. That alone is a reason to help them. But I'm going to give you another.
How about this one:
What, what, WHAT?
Here's the deal. I'm donating to Open Arms today. If you do too, there are a set of very nice rewards in your future--if we can reach certain goals. It starts by going to this page and donating. (You can also learn more about Open Arms there). If you don't have a ton of money, no problem. There's no minimum--just click the "other" box to give what you can. Whether you donate $5 or $50, it's all good. Every little bit helps, and they'll email you a tax deductible receipt. It requires a credit card, and you don't have to be in the US to contribute, so long as your card works with American websites. I've seen you guys come through before to help groups like the Red Cross, and I know lots of you will be happy to help give these babies and their mothers their best chance at life! I'll be checking in with Open Arms throughout the day to see how much money they've raised, and here's what's in store...
*If Open Arms raises $250, VA graphic artist Emma Vieceli will reveal an exclusive sketch of SYDNEY! If you're like me, you've been waiting FOREVER to see this. Sydney wasn't supposed to be revealed unless there's a Blood Promise graphic novel, but Emma's going to do it early for us!
**UPDATE** We've reached this goal! Check out Emma's amazing sketch here!
*If Open Arms raises $500, I will do a series of video Q&A's the month before the release of Silver Shadows that anyone in the world can submit questions for. Penguin Australia has graciously offered to spearhead this and will review and select submitted questions. Then, I'll answer them on video for you. For some of you, this might be like getting to a book signing!
**UPDATE** Goal met! We'll have info about this closer to release day.
*If Open Arms raises $1000, I've arranged with my publisher to be allowed to post the first chapter of Silver Shadows early. How early? Well, I'll post it TODAY if we reach our goal. Normally, it wouldn't go live for at least another month or two.
**UPDATE** Goal met! You can read the first chapter of Silver Shadows here!
Sound good? If so, then let's help some babies have happy, healthy lives! I'll keep you updated throughout the day about how we're doing. And thank you so much for being so generous. Even though there are rewards out there, it's still YOU making that donation, and I am super grateful to have so many readers who have helped with charitable endeavors time and again. Small groups like this improve lives in the community, which can later improve the world...and your big heart makes it happen. Thank you!
(Note: I'm not personally affiliated with either Open Arms or the Seattle Foundation. For any questions about the websites I've linked, payment process, etc., direct them to the pertinent groups. Thanks!)