October 17, 2017

Introducing: Raine Gives Back

Giving back. It’s something that was impressed upon me from an early age. I was a Girl Scout (shocking, I know) and remember working at a food pantry with my troop, serving food to kids my age. One of my college professors ran a homeless shelter and told us heartbreaking stories about the people he met every day. And when I was twenty-two, I went to work for a nonprofit organization serving underprivileged youth living in downtown Atlanta.

The idea of giving back stays with me still. While I know there are ways to contribute to causes without donating money, I know firsthand how much most nonprofit organizations rely on donations to help those they serve. Unfortunately, up until I started selling my books as a second job three months ago, I didn’t have a single bit of expendable income.

However, thanks to my amazing readers, sales of the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy have been good enough since their publication three months ago that I can now fulfill my wish to give back. When I mentioned this desire to my husband, I was worried he would flinch over the expense. Let’s be honest…even with the books selling, we’re not rolling in the money after only three months, and we have bills out the wazoo just like most people.

His response? “Sounds great! How about we donate 5% of the monthly earnings on the books? In fact…why don’t we donate to a different cause every month?”

Have I ever mentioned how much I love this man?

Thus, the idea of Raine Gives Back was born. From here on out, I’ll be donating 5% of each month’s book earnings to a great cause. To me, October’s donation was a no-brainer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There can’t be many people out there whose lives are untouched by this disease.

For me, this cause hit home back in July when I received a call from a friend of mine (who I’ll call Sally) saying that she received a diagnosis of advanced breast cancer. The news swept my feet out from under me. As I listened to her emotional story and ached for her, I vowed that as soon as I could afford to, I was going to make a donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in honor of Sally’s fight.

And now, three months later, that’s just what I’m going to do. Thanks so much to all of you for helping me accomplish this personal goal! If you’d like to join me in donating to this wonderful cause, please visit http://ww5.komen.org/.

What I’d like from you, my readers, is your suggestions on what cause Raine Gives Back should donate 5% of all book earnings to in November. If you prefer to e-mail me your reasons, feel free to use the contact form and I’ll be happy to consider it. If your particular suggestion is chosen, I’ll make every effort to make the donation in your name if the cause allows it.

I’m very excited about this undertaking, and I thank you all in advance for joining me and my family in making a difference!

Comments

  1. Something to do with organ donors or organ transplant research. I don’t know what causes you might have over there for that.

    My Dad received a heart transplant 10 days before my first wedding. He had been sick with cardiomyopathy for 5 years and about 4 months before my wedding we were told that at 5 years, 50% of sufferers are dead, and by 10 years, just about all of them. His original doctor neglected to mention this small fact to us…

    Dad was in a bad way. He was told his only options were a heart transplant. We are lucky here in Australia that this is a government-funded operation. He went to see the doctor, who said he was a walking heart attack and far too sick to be out on the streets. He was admitted immediately and discharged just in time for the buck’s/hen’s parties.

    11 days before my wedding, he was listed on the heart transplant register as needing and being eligible for a heart transplant. He was 52. I was 24 and my younger brother was 21. My Dad hadn’t even walked me down the aisle yet, I hadn’t published a book (and my Dad has been one of my greatest inspirations) and there were so many things my Dad might never see. My children being one, though my brother had at least given him grandsons already.

    10 days before my wedding Dad was called. The hospital had a donor. We hadn’t even gotten our heads around the idea Dad might not live to get a donor heart and he was already getting one. I can only put it down to the fact my Dad is a small man with a rare blood type, increasing his chances (common blood types have more people waiting for them).

    Surgery took 12 hours. I waited at the hospital overnight with my Mum. My brother arrived in the morning and we all sat at the hospital until Dad came out. He was in a bad way, but still better than he had been. I hadn’t realised how colourless his face had been for so long. Getting out of bed had left him breathless.

    The hospital let him out on day release to walk me down the aisle. Sadly, that marriage didn’t last, but I still have the memory of my Dad there. He walked me down the aisle the second time, too, and he’s lived to see my daughter and his only granddaughter. He should live to see my second child as he is still in good health. I hope he lives until 2016. I want to take him home to Scotland to show him the country he was born. If he doesn’t, I’ve promised to take him back anyway. Maybe that’s a bit gruesome, but the reality of his death is something we live with. We don’t know how long he will live. The drugs take their toll on his body. Better drugs improve his chances of surviving longer.

    What I do know is he wouldn’t be with us now if he hadn’t had that transplant. The family of the person whose heart my Dad has gave me the greatest gift I will ever receive. More people need to donate their organs and more research is needed into prolonging the lives of recipients. This life-saving surgery should be available to everyone.

    I’ve gotten all teary just writing this!

    • Raine Thomas says:

      What an amazing story, Ciara, and it got me teary, as well, just thinking about it! Thank you so much for the suggestion. I will look into American organizations that specialize in this and add it to my places to donate. If you want to send me your father’s name, I’ll be sure he’s acknowledged on the donation. :)

  2. Sara says:

    This is a great idea. My personal favorite cause is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which ensures that children with catastrophic illness (particularly cancer) can receive treatment regardless of their ability to pay. I’m releasing an anthology in December that will benefit this charity. :)

    It’s awesome of you and your husband to do this.

    • Raine Thomas says:

      St. Jude’s is an excellent organization, Sara…thanks for mentioning it! I have a relative who shaves his head every St. Patrick’s Day for a fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which offers similar services. I’m definitely going to add your suggestion to the list, and I appreciate the support! :)

  3. Way to go Raine!
    Heart, Hope and Health are the biggies. All the rest is just stuff. I like your attitude :-) -Kelly

  4. Such a great idea! You have definitely planted a seed in me for the (hopefully) near future. :) So honored to know you & call you my fellow Dream Weaver. -Blaire

    • Raine Thomas says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Blaire! Your support is so appreciated. Feel free to let me know if you have a cause that means a lot to you. #DreamWeavers