Traditional versus self-publishing – the writing world is changing

There’s been a lot of buzz in the social media sphere about traditional vs self-publishing. And I’ve been caught up in it reading like a fiend. Here are a couple blog posts that I found very informative:

There are a lot of perspectives and information out there right now.

Amanda Hocking, who has sort of been deemed the poster child of the self-publishing movement recently due to her much publicized success, gives us a glimpse into a world of self-publishing dreams come true. Word on the street is that she self-published and has sold more than one million books and generated more than $2 million in sales.

That being said, on her blog she also gives us a glimpse of real life. Self-publishing is not without incredible hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. Her two blog posts Some Things That Need to be Said and UPDATE What I Can Say Right Now bring to light to reality behind achieving such success and give us a great, realistic perspective of what it’s like to self-publish.

The issue that struck a chord with me is when she wrote about not wanting to run her own corporation, which is essentially what it means to self-publish. She blogs about not having much time to write because of all the other responsibilities she’s had to take on, the issues she’s run into with the editing process, and the issues around readers getting access to her books. It’s not all unicorns and cash.

What I also love is the reality check she gives us:

I guess what I’m saying is that just because I sell a million books self-publishing, it doesn’t mean everybody will. In fact, more people will sell less than 100 copies of their books self-publishing than will sell 10,000 books. I don’t mean that to be mean, and just because a book doesn’t sell well doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. It’s just the nature of the business.

Touché!

And while her success thus far in the self-publishing world has been incredible, I think her most recent post (The Blog) where she tells readers she’s taking a traditional publishing deal with St. Martin’s Press to publish four books tells us that self-publishing and traditional publishing are working together to provide more opportunities for authors and more choice for readers.

In the end, what I’ve learned is that with either traditional or self-publishing, there are no guarantees of wealth, sales, or success in the writing world. That being said, I don’t know about you, but I am pretty pumped up about being a writer in this day and age because there just seems to be more and more doors opening to enable great writers to CREATE and CONTROL their own path to success. And that bodes well for all of us!

What do you think? Is the world of book publishing changing? How will you capitalize on it?

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Dear blog…I am having an affair…

…with my Kindle!

I have had my e-reader, Amazon’s Kindle, for nearly two months. I bought the Wi-Fi-only, Graphite version which has a 6″ display and features Amazon’s new E Ink Pearl Technology. I have waited this long to write my review because I wanted to make sure that I really took the time to try it out and explore all the options, which, for the most part, I have.

Before I get to the good, the bad and the ugly, I should add a small disclaimer: I have no emotional attachment or connection to the physical book. In talking to a lot of people about the new e-readers on the market, I have come to learn that there are many folks out there who love the experience of reading an actual book including the weight, the feel, the smell, and even turning the corner of the pages to mark them. I respect these folks greatly but I am not one of them. To me, the book is a means to an end: the story and the characters. Also, know that I can’t compare the Kindle to the Kobo (Chapters Indigo) , the iPad (Apple), or the Nook (Barnes and Noble) since I’ve never seen or tried any of them.

So let’s get to it. What do I think of the Kindle?

I absolutely, whole heartedly, 100% ADORE and LOVE IT!

Ok, now that I got that off my chest, here’s my low down on the Kindle and all its functionality!

The Screen (E Ink Pearl Technology)

Amazon claims the screen reads like paper and they aren’t kidding; it does…if not better! The screen is crystal clear, crisp, without glare, and the fonts are clean, crisp and dark. You can read in bright sunlight or in low light just as easy. Not to mention you can enlarge your font, how many words appear per line, and the justification – it’s customized reading for your ultimate pleasure and I love it! No more reading glasses for me!

Design/Weight/Page Turn

Amazon claims this latest version to be “thinner, lighter, faster, better than ever before.” Now I can’t attest to how it stacks up against earlier versions but I can say that the design and weight is very comfortable. I actually have mine in a case with a light (great for those nights at the camp when we shut down the power) and I find it extremely comfy. One of the issues I had with books is that I like to read in bed, on my side and sometimes holding a book opened or positioned just right was awkward but with the Kindle, it’s easy as pie!

The speed of the page turning makes for seamless reading. I couldn’t physically turn a page on a book faster than my Kindle turns a page. I find it extremely seamless and unnoticeable. There are two large buttons on either side for going forward and two smaller ones for going backwards and they are perfectly positioned and are easy to click.

Built-in Wi-Fi/Book Ordering

The website claims that you can shop and download books in less than 60 seconds and they ain’t kidding. I downloaded the Sookie Stackhouse series of eight books in 10 seconds flat. With Amazon, you can set up a prearranged account so that you can quite literally order books with one click and I haven’t seen a book take longer than 10 seconds to load yet. I was quite amazed. I want to finish reading all my books just so I can have the fun of ordering more.

Massive Selection

In the US, there are over 850,000 books including 107 of 111 New York Times best sellers plus audio books, periodicals, and blogs. In Canada, there are over 660,000 books. Add to that, there are 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright books with classics such as Pride and Prejudice.

I love how I can search by any means I like and I haven’t been able to not find a book I wanted yet. I do however tell people who are considering an e-reader such as Kindle to go on the site and search out the types of books they read to make sure they are there before they buy an e-reader.

Also, you can download and read the first chapter for free before you decide to buy so it’s just like shopping at the book store.

Cost

Books on average run from about .99 cents to $9.99 USD for new releases. I recently bought Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol for $7.99 USD and the Sookie Stackhouse 8-box set by Charlaine Harris for $36.24 USD (that’s $4.53 per book). I priced this box set at Chapters Indigo for $110 Cnd.

The Kindle itself comes in three versions. The version I bought which has Wi-Fi only for $140 USD. Kindle also has a model with 3G and Wi-Fi for $190 USD. It also comes in a 9.7” model with 3G for $379 USD.

Scott and I figure with how much I read that the actual cost of the Kindle will be recuperated in book cost savings in less than a year.

Dictionary Look up/Notes/Highlights

Now this is something I didn’t think would matter a whole lot to me but I am now IN LOVE with! I love Dan Brown’s books but I usually find there are a lot of words within the text that I don’t understand. Now, I can usually get the jist of the meaning from the context of the paragraph because I am certainly not going to read a book with a dictionary beside me. But now with my Kindle, I don’t have to settle with getting “the jist of it” anymore! Using my cursor, I just put it before the word I don’t understand and voilà: the definition (with the expansion option) appears at the top of my screen! WOW! I love this and used it extensively while reading Dan’s book. I felt like it enabled me to really enjoy the story while I also easily and without compromising the story flow was able to learn new vocabulary.

I haven’t used the highlight and notes section much yet. This is a feature where you can highlight text you’d like to “clip” out and save in a folder – say an inspirational paragraph or something you’d like to refer to later. Or you can make a note, which is like writing in the margin. So far, I haven’t used either but both look as user-friendly as all the other options.

Charging

Amazon claims you can read for up to a month on a single charge and again they haven’t disappointed. I got my Kindle on Jan 26, 2011 and fully charged it in three hours. I read every night for 30-60 minutes and on the weekends for about three to four additional hours. One month later, on February 26, I recharged it but I had a quarter of a battery bar left. I haven’t charged it since and I am now, over a month later, at a quarter of a battery bar. Honestly, this thing has got all the juice I need.

What Page was I on?

No more cornering pages or wondering where I left off if I fall asleep while reading. With my Kindle, I can read three books at the same time and Kindle always remembers what page I left off in each and opens right to it when I launch the book.

And if I fall asleep, my Kindle goes into “sleep” mode after 10 minutes so as to not waste the battery. When I wake up and turn it back on, it’s right where I left off. This is huge convenience for me.

Organizing Books

To organize my books, I created folders on my home screen for what I am currently reading, what I’ve read, and what’s waiting to be read. I am sure in time as I amass books, I will organize perhaps by genre or some other meaningful way. I love this digital storing and organizing – everything is easy to find and right at a finger tip; quite literally!

Storage

It claims to store up to 3500 books. So far I have about a dozen on it with no issue. I’ll keep you posted if I ever start to max out.

New Webkit-Based Brower

This is an option listed on the Amazon site that says you can browse the Web over Wi-Fi and lists it as “experimental”. Honestly, I haven’t even tried it yet. I couldn’t see using my Kindle to surf the Wet unless I was in a real pinch.

In conclusion

Ok, so I think it’s pretty obvious I am a huge Kindle fan. The device lived up to every expectation I had and then some. As well, I felt it really exceeded every claim on the Amazon site. For me, it comes down to the fact that I love the convenience, immediacy, and flexibility that it allows me. When I travel, I no longer have to worry about how many books I bring, running out, or the weight in my luggage because everything is stored in one place taking up less room and weight than most hard covered books. Even if I am running to the doctor or dentist, it’s easy to bring anywhere with me. I find it more comfortable than traditional books and all the functionality really brings more to the reading experience for me.

If the “love of the book” isn’t an issue for you, I highly recommend trying an e-reader and I give the Amazon Kindle two very large thumbs up!

How about you: tried an e-reader yet? Which ones and what do you think?

Dear blog…it’s not a day…it’s a season!

This past weekend I celebrated turning 36 years old. I have always typically made a big deal of my birthday but I find as I get older, it’s becoming less and less important. And it isn’t that I have issues with getting older nor do I have a sudden hate on for my birthday but I just find overall, I am toning down in my life. I am calmer and more at peace and I think I like my celebrations to reflect that.

Rather than have large, loud party this year, I opted for more intimate celebrations spread out over a longer period of time. I consider my birthday a “season,” not simply a day! Considering I have a fairly large group of dispersed friends (meaning not all of my friends are part of the same large group), celebrating with smaller groups in different ways allows me to visit and connect more closely with folks.

So here’s the birthday season celebrations summed up.

Friday – March 18

Scott surprised me with a snowmobile for my birthday (although I was certain the Kindle and the cross-country skies were for my birthday). Alas, he found a black and pink sled that screamed my name and was a must have. It’s a 1992 Polaris Indy 500 with 13,000 kilometers on it. This is perfect for what we want. Snowmobiling in New Brunswick is a huge sport but the season is so short and the fun is mighty expensive. Scott and I planned on getting a couple older, cheap sleds so that we could get into the camp all winter and putter around. One down, one to go!

In the evening, we went out to dinner with a group of friends of about 7 adults and two small children and we had my fav…ice cream cake!!

Saturday – March 19 (my actual birthday) 

I had the honor of going for a soul reading with my good friend Donna Somerville. Donna is a spiritual medium and facilitator. A soul reading is meant to give a person a deeper respect for his/her human self and an expanded perspective of his/her Soul Self. I went for my first reading with Donna nearly two years ago so it was time for a follow-up session. What an absolutely blissful way to spend an hour. Stay tuned for a post on the reading itself….

In the evening, Scott and I went out for a Chinese dinner and played dice (game called Greed that we’ve tweaked up with some cool stealing rules) with two other couples and also had a hot tub night! The laughs flowed till the wee hours of morning.

Of course, most of you probably think this is where the celebrating ends. Nope…I did say it’s a season!

March 25-26

This coming weekend, we are heading to our wilderness camp, HarKen Lodge, with another couple to keep the party going. They were away this past weekend and couldn’t take part in the fun. So many people to celebrate with, so little time!

Friday – April 1

One of my best gal pals and I have a tradition of spending a Friday evening together to celebrate each of our birthdays. We either order in something insanely delicious, or she cooks (which is just as insanely delicious), and we drink wine and gossip for hours. We celebrated her January birthday in early February and we will celebrate mine a week from tomorrow. It’s one of my favorite evenings.

Sunday – April 3

Alas, I haven’t mentioned my family in all of this. They are not forgotten or left out of the party! We will be having brunch with the entire family to celebrate March birthdays (me and my brother-in-law) on Sunday April 3rd.

Saturday – April 9

My mother planned a surprise (although she had to tell me about it just to be safe) lap dance learning and passion party coordinated by a new fitness center in Fredericton called Body Slim Fitness. She’s invited a bunch of fun gals among both her and my friends for an evening of lap dancing and laughs! And of course, to attend, participation is mandatory. Have I mentioned how much I adore my mother and how incredibly she rocks!! I just love that lady!!

And that’s it I think for this year’s celebration! Phew…

How do you celebrate your big day?

Dear blog…a tough 20th anniversary

I have struggled to sit down and make blog time this week. It was the 20th anniversary of my Dad’s death on Monday and it’s left me sullen, fatigued and withdrawn. It’s weird because often I feel like so much time has passed, it shouldn’t hurt anymore. I mean, he’s been gone longer than I knew him living, by four years. Why should this affect me or upset me anymore? But every year the anniversary crawls up and I find myself struggling.

It’s also the week leading up to my birthday. My Dad died five days before my 16th birthday. For years I’ve always tried to compensate in the same way; planning a huge birthday celebration to try to alleviate my melancholy and give myself a good distraction. This has definitely meant some fairly great birthday shindigs but in the end, truthfully, this time of year just sucks and I am sad.

I feel very alone in my sadness. Having moved about two years after he died has meant that other than my mother, there’s next to no one in my life today that knew him. None of my friends or new family knew him and it means that there’s no one to share in memories or laugh about the old times with. There’s no one to tell me how much I look like him, sound like him, or remind them of him. There is no one around to help me keep him “alive” and present in my life through the retelling and reliving of stories.

And each year, I lose more and more of him in fading memories and stories untold. The sound of his laughter, the twinkle in eye, his bantering style, the touch of his hands, the strength of his hug, and the smell of his aftershave all fade more and more from my mind’s eye as time passes. A grief and loss compounded.

But at the end of this self-pity party rainbow, there is a barrel of gold!

In other ways, I feel closer to my Dad. As I have grown and matured as a woman, my spirituality and belief in the afterlife has enabled me to develop a relationship with him that resides on a different plain and at an entirely different level than the physical world. I go to him, I talk to him, and I share with him myself with pure honesty and authenticity. And in those moments, I sense his presence and I feel his unconditional love more powerfully than I did when he was living. Our relationship now transcends time and space and it has allowed me to know, in my heart, soul and spirit that he lives on and that he is always with me.

I still grieve and it’s still difficult – I wish he was here in the physical world – but I have found comfort.

How have you dealt with the loss of a parent?

Dear blog…I am not afraid to take the stand

Sorry for the delay in posts this week; I’ve been cheating on my blog. Alas, it’s for a good cause. Last night, I put the finishing edits on my victim impact statement (VIS) and now I feel like it’s ready to be sent into the courts.

As of right now, I plan to read it out loud in court. I want the no-good-piece-of-dirt-slime-bag that got drunk and slammed into Mamma K and Jordan, killing Mamma K, to have to sit there and hear my painful woes. It’s the least he can be forced to endure and won’t ever be nearly enough. That being said, victim services told us that there is a fair number of VIS being submitted (15-20). I told Scott that I would of course take a back seat if other members of the family would like to read out loud. I leave it to him and his family to decide.

Taking the stand and reading my statement out loud doesn’t make me nervous in the least. I’ve never had any issues around public speaking. I am quite comfortable standing in front of an audience, large or small, and speaking out (and to be honest, the bigger the audience, the better). I’ve done plenty throughout my life and I enjoy it greatly. I assume it has something to do with my love of being the center of attention, life of the party, and all around queen of the night! I know for some people, their nerves bubble up, their throat closes off, and the anxiety of the situation makes them want to run and hide under the nearest desk.

Of course I get nervous. I get a dry mouth. My heart starts pounding and my palms sweat. Sometimes I feel like I am about to throw up. My anxiety swells as I fear saying something wrong or that I don’t know what I am talking about. I get intimidated thinking people will hate it or even worse, hate me. But in the end, I love it all. I thrive on the adrenaline rush. I love the feeling of being fully alive, present and in the moment. Anyone who knows me isn’t surprised by this revelation. I really should have gone into acting.

Years ago, in a previous life, I was involved in pageantry and I fell in love with it. I loved everything about it; the beauty, the gowns, the stage, the interviews, the events, and the other contestants. And most importantly, I loved that I was involved in a pageant system that required contestants to have a platform; a cause to promote and bring public attention to (and the more, the better). I choose self-esteem and through pageantry, I was charged with “getting my message out” to the world. I was enthralled and exhilarated!

Throughout that year, I realize how much I loved public speaking. I had dozens of speaking engagements. I had the opportunity to bring opening remarks at fundraising events, I was a keynote speaker at meetings, I made guest appearances on local radio stations, and I presented a variety of seminars on self-esteem at workshops. I was passionate about sharing my experience and knowledge with others and was deeply fulfilled in doing so.

My days of pageantry are long over but I’ve been able to take that experience with me and apply it extremely well in my real life. And I think come April 5, 2011, if given the opportunity, I will put it to very good use once again!

How do you feel about public speaking; friend or foe?

A most important piece of writing

I am sitting here this morning staring at the screen gearing up to undertake one of the most important writing tasks I’ve ever taken on before; a victim impact statement.

Now that Trent has been found guilty of impaired driving causing death for the death of my mother-in-law; Mamma K (2009), we move into sentencing mode and this is where Mamma K’s family, friends, and coworkers finally have a venue to speak out.

In Canada, victims of a criminal offence may choose to write an account of how the crime has impacted their lives and submit it to the court upon a conviction and before sentencing. It’s a document that essentially outlines the physical, emotional and financial impact of the crime on the victim and their family. A victim impact statement is a way for victims to have a voice in the criminal justice system.

Writing and submitting a victim impact statement isn’t required. It is optional and we can each write and submit our own. Any impact statements written are then presented to the judge before sentencing. Most importantly, judges are required to consider the victim impact statements when sentencing offenders. This means that not only is each of our victim impact statements our “voice” in the system, but essentially we can each have an influence on Trent’s sentence. For us, this makes them extremely important.

As well, at sentencing, we can request to read or have read aloud our impact statement, although the judge has discretionary authority to allow it or not. If allowed, this would give those of us who choose to do so, an opportunity to tell Trent how his actions and choices on that fatal day have changed and marked our lives forever; pick me…pick me!!!

And once our statements are in the court file, they become part of the public record and may be seen by a Probation Officer or by the National Parole Board; offering us possibly more influence on Trent’s future in the system.

So you can see how important this piece of writing is and the impact it could potentially have not just at sentencing but beyond. I want this to be one of the best pieces of writing I’ve ever done. I want it to evoke those intense emotions of grief and shock that I felt, and I want to appropriately capture the depth of the emotional trauma. When the judge reads it, I want him to be deeply moved; I want him to feel even a small portion of what we feel; I want him to have a great sense of the extent of our loss and the tragedy of it; and I want him to feel compelled to take a stand, a real stand, against impaired driving and sentence Trent to at least ten years or more in prison. And when I read it aloud in court, I want Trent to hang his head in shame.

It’s got to be perfect. It’s got to be intense. It’s got to be hard-core. It’s got to be my absolute best. Mamma K deserves no less!

I’ve already got four pages of material typed out. The emotions are percolating and bubbling around in my soul and coming out in bits and pieces. I am not worrying about formatting or perfection right now but just getting the “stuff” out. Soon it’ll be time to fine tune, organize, and pull it all together into a meaningful format that speaks to the depth of this tragedy and moves people to take action.

But in the end, can the trauma of it really be captured in words on a piece of paper? Likely not adequately but I’ll definitely give it a go!

Ever written a victim impact statement or a piece of incredibly important writing? If so, any words of advice?

Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop: Inspiration of the week

This week, I am inspired to get back to the writing roots!

I’ve been discovering blogs by successful and aspiring authors chronicling their adventures in writing and/or sharing their wisdom and it has inspired me. It’s sparked my desire to get back to what this blog is supposed to be about – chronicling not only my adventures and thoughts on life but my successes and struggles as I write my first novel. This blog, a creative outlet to help spark my writing, wasn’t supposed to be my only writing adventure but that’s exactly what it’s become.

First, I came across Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers blog and BAM, I was inspired to get back to my driving force, the point of it all: the writing. In yesterday’s post, Author Nightmares–Product Trumps Promotion, she totally hit the nail on the head. In part of her post, she wrote:

Blogging is probably THE best way to build a platform, but we must always be vigilant that it does not take over our main job…writing books. Blogging is instant gratification, whereas a novel or even a NF book might not give us warm fuzzies for months or even years. It is very easy to get so focused on the blogging, that the real writing never happens.

Blogging can be a short-term high that can sabotage long-term success. There are few things that will make you feel better about your career than watching your following grow on your blog. But the point of all of this social media stuff is to eventually sell our books. Otherwise we are working for free and then we are right back where we started. We are hobbyists and not true professionals.

Ah – so true Kristen – thank you very much for the reality check. Since I started blogging, the novel-writing has been put on hold. This post got me asking myself “Natalie, what is the point? Do you still want to write a novel? And if so, why haven’t you committed to it yet? There is room for blogging and novel-writing in your life if you want there to be.”

Then I came across Albert Berg’s Unsanity Files blog and his post entitled Eat Your Lima Beans: The Importance of Becoming the Writer You Aren’t. It was like he knew exactly what I needed to hear in that very moment and wrote me an inspirational post to help get my writing juices flowing again. In part of his post, he wrote:

But recently I’ve come to realize that what I like doesn’t really matter. I realized I needed to approach my writing like I approached mom’s dinner. It’s fine to enjoy the good stuff, the stuff you really love, but sometimes you’ve got to eat some Lima beans too.

But the odds are good there’s some other aspect of writing you fall short at.  And that is the thing you’re going to have to conquer if you want to become a truly great writer.

Doing what comes naturally is easy. We can play from our strengths all day long. But playing from our strengths isn’t going to make us great. If we aspire to greatness we’re going to have to learn to work through our weaknesses.

The writer we are is the core of our strengths, the essence of our love of the craft. But the writer we are isn’t enough. We have to reach out to the things we don’t like, the areas of the craft that make us wary and uncomfortable and learn to embrace them as well.

Another BAM moment!

What’s going on? Why haven’t I started writing? Because I want to sit down and tap out the next best seller without doing an outline, without doing character development, without doing scene and conflict outlines. I want to be “that good” (or that lazy???). Every time I even so much as go near writing my book, I get so overwhelmed by how much I don’t know that I panic and I run and I go and master something else; blogging for instance.

Since I started blogging, I have spent oddles of hours exploring and mastering themes, working on graphics (I mean, it’s gotta look good, right???), taking a workshop on building a better blog, reading blogs about blogging, developing a kickin’ editorial calendar etc. I spend all of my writing time mastering blogging to avoid working on my novel because I am scared and it seems soooo daunting.

What it boils down to is there’s only one way to find out if I am author material. Pick a damn story line, run with it, and write a book. And then…see what happens. Will it be an international best seller? Maybe, maybe not…and who cares anyway??? What it will be is a dream come true and lessons well learned in BEING the woman and writer I want to be; not just talking (and blogging) about it.

Wish me luck!

Mama Kat Writer's Workshop

This post is part of Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. This week I went with prompt #4. What inspired you this week?

Blog of the Month – The Hack Novelist

This month I would like to highlight The Hack Novelist. Recently I started exploring blogs written by aspiring writers and this one has had me in chuckles ever since I discovered it.

Summary of the blog

The Hack Novelist exists to document one writer’s journey as he writes, edits, and markets his first novel.

Why I like the blog

Each posts starts off by chronicling how many pages he’s edited or written that day, which he says helps him to stay accountable (love that). And then sprinkled throughout each post are humorous stories woven together with wonderfully written prose that capture his success and/or stress throughout his writing and editing experience.

I love his “About Me” page which refers to his readers as “Dear Loyal Reader,” a theme that follows throughout the blog and is quite charming. It makes the blog feel personal.

He constantly apologizes in a hilarious manner for his writing, which to me is actually fabulous. I find his style and his posts interestingly crafted together with an amazing story-telling aspect that actually does give you great bits of information on how he’s feeling about his place in the writing world at that moment.

Posts that spoke to me

8 Pages and an Editing Crane Kick: crack me up, in this post, Hack writes a letter to Mr. Miyagi (from the Karate Kid movie series) to outline his distaste for the editing process he’s currently undertaken on his recently finished novel.

8 Pages and the Conference Call: a hilarious post less about writing and more about life. I nearly died laughing reading it since it was something I could totally see myself writing. Obviously he ran into someone at the coffee shop who was obnoxious and inconsiderate and I loved Hack’s letter to him.

2 Pages and a Lil’ Mornin’ Learnin’: this is one of those posts that makes you feel like his writing is so personal, and written just for you. And then he adds this hilarious list of blogging best practices. Loved it and totally cracked me up.

Be sure to check out The Hack Novelist – a very humorous and delightful blog all about the joys (and not so joyous) aspects of being an author. It’s definitely a worthwhile, fun visit and I guarantee, you’ll keep going back for more.

Charity of the Month – Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Red CrossMarch is Red Cross month in Canada celebrating, and bringing awareness to, everything the Canadian Red Cross does not only internationally but locally as well.

When I think about the Canadian Red Cross, I realize how often we hear about them stepping in and helping people in our local community. Just recently when a family lost everything in a house fire; in December when hundreds of New Brunswick residents faced a flood crisis unlike anything we’d seen before and many lost everything they owned just before Christmas; and nearly every spring when flooding strikes our communities.

The Canadian Red Cross is always there – when we need them in our backyard or when we need them around the world – they are always there giving generously to help those in need.

Who is the Canadian Red Cross?

The Canadian Red Cross Society is a non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to improving the situation of the most vulnerable in Canada and throughout the world. Their mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.

Where does the Canadian Red Cross work?

The Canadian Red Cross provides programs and services to communities in all provinces and territories across Canada. They also operate worldwide providing support to more than 50 countries and directly managing projects in more than 20 countries.

What does the Canadian Red Cross do?

They provide a wide range of assistance to millions of people in Canada through health services, injury prevention (such as water safety and first aid), violence and abuse prevention, and by responding to and preparing for disasters. They also help the world’s most vulnerable populations, including victims of armed conflict and communities destroyed by devastating disasters, through our international programs. (Source)

How can you help?

We can support our humanitarian mission by making a donation to support their ongoing operations and emergency relief work; by making a legacy gift; and by volunteering with our local Red Cross office.

Or for more information, check out their website: www.redcross.ca

(Source of information for this article)

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