The “why” of this project is the easy part.
I think it would have been impossible to watch the footage of the unfolding crisis in Queensland and not feel moved to do something – anything – to help. I had donated what I could but I didn’t feel like that was enough. As a one income family, my husband and I were restricted in what we could give and, as the situation got worse – more people dead or missing, more homes and businesses lost, more animals displaced or lost – I started feeling desperate to do something more. The only thing I’m any good at is writing, but I didn’t know how I could use that skill to help, short of donating my books to libraries – and, at the moment, most libraries are underwater.
So I sent a call out to my Twitter writer friends, asking what we could do together as a community to help. Almost immediately, I got messages from Emily, Katrina and Fleur – wonderful writers who I consider friends even though we have only ever communicated online – telling me they felt the same sense of powerlessness, and expressing their desire to do something together to help. Emily had the idea of the online auction. Fleur offered to donate her blog, and to ask her web guru, Nyssa, to set up the auction. Katrina and Emily worked together to create a Facebook page, and have been skilfully administering it as the donations flowed in. All of this was achieved in a bit over two days.
We have had so many donations from generous people; so many shows of support; so many people asking how they can help to promote the cause. We’ve even had some people not involved in the book industry offering to donate their art, which I think is brilliant. It just goes to show how powerful social networking can be to start things like this. I am flabbergasted at how quickly it has all taken off, and so grateful and awestruck by the kindness of all involved. If this initial generosity is anything to go by, this auction will be a huge success. It all just goes to prove that people want to help, in any way they can.
Please help now by bidding on some of these wonderful items. I hope you have fun doing it (I always love a good hot auction contest), and I know that the people and animals of Queensland will be grateful for whatever you can give.
From Kate Gordon