When I came up with the idea for yesterday's giveaway, I thought it might be an interesting and different twist on my usual giveaways. I have helped out some people in need before; I spend a lot of time on Reddit, and I'm always offering up books to those who need some cheering up. I really like the idea of brightening someone's day, even if it's just for that one day.
I wasn't really prepared for the emails that started to come in. I was expecting stories of unemployment, local library branch had closed, just moved and needed something to fill the bookshelves, perhaps someone in the service looking for something to read to fill in the lonely hours...
Instead, I got real stories of pain and suffering; heartbreaking tales that forced me to get up from my desk and take a walk before I could come back and read the rest. I said in yesterday's post that I would pick one person for the care package, but I just don't have it in me to exclude the rest.
I'll still pick one person to receive the handmade book so graciously donated by Melissa at www.toboldlyfold.com, but I will do my best to get packages out to everyone who sent me a story. It will take some time, and I'm sure I will have to wait for a few more bookperdiem.com sales to fund the shipping costs, but I'll get them out. I won't publish any of the stories or announce any of the winners, there's no need. I will get in touch with all of you shortly.
What I realized, maybe just at this moment, is that while I wanted to help someone feel a little better about things, change their outlook on life a bit, what I really did was change myself. These heartbreaking stories are all around us, they are happening every day to people you know and love. I'm really trying not to sound like some smug and righteous dope, I promise; I realize that whatever I end up sending might help for one hour, one day, and I'm fine with that. I guess what I'm saying is that I stopped to ask if there was something I could do, and there was. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.
All of that said, Forgotten Bookmarks will be back with it's regular programming later on today.