Words cannot fully express how thankful I am to everyone who came to the rescue to help animals in need after the tragic Northern California wildfires. I had never organized a fundraiser before, and yet my heartache for innocent animal fire victims was more agonizing than the fear of not knowing what I was doing.
I woke up Saturday morning, November 17th unable to rid my mind of the trauma two young kitten siblings, Ash and Phoenix, endured in the Paradise wildfire. Their beautiful story of brotherly love touched my soul. I had to do something for them.
My first call was to our Northern California Publishers and Authors President M.L. Hamilton. I shared my idea of a book-signing fundraiser for animal victims of the Camp Fire and without a moment’s hesitation, she was on board. Instantly!
As a cat mom of FieldHaven Feline Center’s alumni, I’ve seen how staff and volunteers work tirelessly in bettering the lives of cats. Many have been on the frontlines since the Camp Fire began. Their emergency pop-up shelter in Yuba City has been the hub for ongoing medical care and housing of fire victims.
I stepped out in faith, immediately proclaiming our fundraiser a multi-author book signing. There was no guarantee it would reach “multi-author” status. I knew I was asking a lot of authors by requiring that books be donated for free. It’s just that I felt so strongly that money needed to be raised to care for animal fire victims so they could be reunited with their pet parents who had lost everything in the wildfires. I know firsthand how animals heal us in our time of grief.
With the help of George and Nicole at FieldHaven Marketplace, we set the wheels in motion. Date, time, signing location within the store, and other details were carefully planned. Thank you, George and Nicole, for your guidance and support the whole way through. I couldn’t have figured it all out without you!
We announced the fundraiser to the NCPA membership and by Monday afternoon, I started receiving calls from authors wanting to either attend or donate books to our cause. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for animals.
On Saturday, November 24, 2018, we held our book-signing fundraiser at the Marketplace in Lincoln, FieldHaven’s thrift store where all proceeds go directly into their feline programs and causes. I’m proud to say that we did, in fact, reach multi-author status with five authors in attendance: M.L. Hamilton, A.K. Buckroth, Marta Zarrella, Kate Zarrella, and myself! Although Norma Thornton, Sharon Darrow, and Cheryl Stapp couldn’t be present at the event, they generously donated several books so that FieldHaven Marketplace could continue to raise money to assist FieldHaven Feline Center through sales of their books at the store after the event. My friend and fellow Inspire Christian Writers member Randy Brundage came by, donated during the book-signing, and kindly took the above photo. My folks dropped by to donate and although I could tell Mom enjoyed browsing the book display, she seemed even more overjoyed playing with all the adoptable cats.
The four-hour fundraiser brought in $250! That’s not all! I received a donation in the mail today from dear family friend, Dottie Doss in Fresno supporting our cause. Thank you, Dottie! I will hand-carry it to FieldHaven Feline Center right away!
Our signing table was decorated with an incredible assortment of books from different genres for donors to choose. We had a wonderful time chatting amongst ourselves, meeting readers, and visiting with kitties awaiting adoption.
This was a day that I will always smile back on with fond memories. It turned out beautifully because of you. I’m especially grateful for your compassion for animals and the gift you’ve given their pet parents. Thank you all so very much!
With Gratitude, Denise