When I thought of this idea, it took me a while to decide what charity to attach it to. I wanted the auction for pay for itself (swag, book, shipping, etc) but I also hoped to use the auction as a chance to give something back to the people around me.
I spent days (literally) looking into charities that dealt with depression and mental health because the first thing I thought of, in conjunction with Fat Chance, was her depression due to her crushing lack of self confidence. Unfortunately, there just aren't a ton of charities specializing in teaching women to be more confident simply because we're worth it - and a sense of confidence and self worth isn't always attached as to the suffering of depression as it maybe should be.
So, even though Cass did suffer a suicidal degree of depression, it was only because she lacked a strong belief in her own self-worth, and that meant I couldn't really use a mental health charity. Not in good conscience, not knowing depression as well as I do, not knowing that it's so much more complicated than this post makes it sound.
Hmm. So, what to do??
Thinking back through Cass's story while on the phone with my cousin (and editor) really helped me. She said, "You know, Cass dealt with a lot of bullying too, even as an adult. She had several people in her life that took pleasure from taking her down. Maybe you can look at it from that angle."
That was a lightbulb moment for me. Later in that conversation she suggested a few other things, but honestly, the idea of bullying struck me so close to home that I can't remember any of the other suggestions.
The next step was to get online and have a look at what charities there are that actually take steps to fight bullying. There are lots of possibilities, including the WWE Be A STAR program, which is an amazing program that allows communities to pull together and help teach kids how much simple words can hurt. Often, WWE stars are involved with this also, speaking in schools and rallies across the country to remind kids that they can hurt each other in very real ways simply by speaking or acting in certain ways, and that bullying is wrong. They sometimes share their own experiences growing up to drive the point home.
There are other charities too, that help communities come together in their efforts to help fight the ugliness of bullying. But for this particular auction, Cass and I are going with the Pacer National Bullying Prevention Center, a 510(c)3 non-profit that helps to fight the overwhelming number of bullies in the world by helping the underdog to find his own power and learn to stand on his own. This is another company that reaches out into communities all over the country, speaking out against bullying through the efforts of community leaders, teenagers and even younger children. With an impressive history of strong outreach, donations to this charity will help to provide anti-bullying resources to the right places, and encouragement to those who can help the cause.
In that light, what I'm giving to this auction seems a little small. It's just a book.
But, it's a book about a girl weakened and broken by the hurtful things people have said to her. It's a book about a woman who (with some help) finds the inner strength to move on, to stand strong, to believe in her own worth, and eventually, to find love.
In addition to a signed copy of that book (Fat Chance, book one in the Kingsley Series) today's auction winner will receive a signed 4x8 Fat Chance bookmark, a 2x6 Fat Chance bookmark, and a bumper sticker for your car, to help you spread the word about Cass and her stuggles.
At the time of this posting, the top bid is $34.00 US, and 25% of what I make in this auction will be donated directly to the Pacer National Bullying Prevention Program. (The rest will go to shipping costs and such.)
Will you help? With assurance of your privacy, enter your silent bid below.