Friday, January 11, 2013

Give a Book on Behalf of Sandy Hook

by Susan McBeth

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

What do Seth Godin, international bestselling author and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and ten of Southern California’s most talented and beloved children’s authors and illustrators have in common?  The answer is that they have all inspired this individual, for one brief moment in time, to take on a leadership role to move a tribe connected to an idea.  What does that mean precisely, you may ask?

Like everyone else, I was stunned and horrified by the senseless shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last month.  As I sat glued to the television set, trying to make sense out of something that is frankly beyond my powers of comprehension, I remember feeling an overwhelming despair and fear that, as moved and shocked as we all were by this tragedy, gun control laws would likely not change and mentally ill individuals would still not receive the resources they so desperately need.

I was waiting for our leaders to act – to do something – to change something – to lead us out of this dark hole so that we could rest assured that a tragedy like this would not occur again.   It was then that I remembered Seth Godin’s words and realized that any one of us could be a leader, could enact change.  I could not bear the thought that the loss of those beautiful and innocent lives would change nothing.  And I could not wait for anyone else to do something.  So I chose to act. 

Godin assured me that all I needed to form a tribe was a shared interest and a way to communicate.   It was clear there existed a shared interest.  Everyone wanted to help, as evidenced by the international outpouring of donations rained on the Sandy Hook community immediately following the shooting.  When those donations exceeded the capacity of their community to distribute, Sandy Hook representatives advised that the best way we could honor their memory was to make a difference in our own communities.

How then to move our tribe to make such a difference?  Enter ten of the most talented and beloved children’s authors and illustrators in Southern California who, through their books, illustrations, and appearances inspire, delight, and teach on a daily basis.  They could communicate our message, and so I enlisted their support and created a “Give a Book on Behalf of Sandy Hook” book drive and fundraising campaign to take place on Saturday, February 2, 2013, from 2:00-5:00pm at Yellow Book Road children’s bookstore in San Diego.

On this one afternoon, we ask all San Diegans to join our tribe to communicate to the Sandy Hook community, and to the world, that we can make a difference, that we send a message of compassion, hope, and change.  On that one afternoon, join our tribe, come out and meet David Shannon, Robin Preiss Glasser, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Marla Frazee, Susie Ghahremani, Candace Ryan, Annika Nelson, Edith Hope Fine, Salina Yoon, and KathleenKrull.  Our goal is to sell 450 books, representing the student body at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The authors will autograph books, and then you, too, can include a personal message as well.

The books, as well as the proceeds from the sales thereof, will be donated to the San Diego Center for Children, a non-profit organization that for 125 years, has cared for San Diego’s must vulnerable children by providing expert therapeutic care and counseling for children and teens suffering from mental health challenges.  The donated books will support their highly successful Intensive Reading Improvement Program, and the donated funds will support their treatment programs to equip these special children with tools to make them successful, self-confident, and contributing members of society.

For more information, visit Adventures by the Book.   I believe in our tribe!


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