You know the kind of Facebook post that you just happen to catch in your feed, and it turns the world from a nasty, cold and cruel place to something where hope exists?
That’s what happened to me a few weeks ago.
I’m not a news person. I’m trying to reform, but I still haven’t got to that part where I can read the news, have an informed opinion and then do something about it.
So when a few posts about what happened in Chechnya passed through my feed, I kind of ignored it. Not because I didn’t care, but I cared so much — but what could I do? Nothing, it seemed.
I suspect I wasn’t the only one. The past year has been horrible news overload, even for the most tenacious news-reading people.
But like I said, a Facebook post changed my world.
See, Dale Cameron Lowry is a pretty amazing guy. He saw the news, and he saw that the Russian LGBT Network was working to evacuate LGBT men from Chechnya. They needed money, and he had an indie-published anthology. What if he donated the royalties to the Russian LGBT Network?
(I don’t actually know if that’s how it happened, but the end result is the same.)
Then he posted in a Facebook group I’m in, asking others to do the same. We could get together and help promote each other. And I jumped in, and made a suggestion that would radically change the past few weeks.
Why don’t we hold an online auction?
That’s how the Readers and Writers for LGBT Chechens began. I don’t need to tell you how amazing it felt to actually be able to do something to help, because every time I reached out to ask someone to donate or thank them for giving so generously, they kept responding with: no, thank you for giving me a way to help.
And as we went along, more and more people joined in to help spread the word. To create graphics. To donate money. Last I saw, we’ve collectively donated over $7,000, and that’s even before the auction opened.
Within an hour of opening bidding, we had over 10 bids all above the minimum bid price. To give you an idea how extraordinary this is, all the charity auction experts say over and over to expect between 30% and 60% of the retail value. And in the first hour, someone bid 3 TIMES the retail value.
Our community is amazing. We can accomplish so much, and change the world for the better. We just need to figure out how.
Here’s how you can help:
Check out the items up for auction.
Bidding closes Saturday May 13th at NOON CDT.
Authors, publishers and freelancers have donated so many incredible prizes that you can browse here.
I’m personally donating an original short story based on the winning bidder’s prompt. So if you have a story you also wished I would write, or a story you’d like in general, or just want to write another story, place your bid!
And if you like my books, then I think you’ll also like:
- An original story by fantasy author EM Prazeman
- An original novella by romantic fantasy author Megan Derr
- An original story by Gillian St Kevern, author of Deep Magic (if you like arrogant princes like Ilyas, then you’ll definitely love Deep Magic)
- The complete fantasy ebook collection of Magical University and Prince’s Boy series by Cecilia Tan (which I haven’t read, but they both tickle my fancy. Cecilia describes Magical University as like Harry Potter if he went to university to study sex magic. If you love Damon Snow, I think you’ll get a kick out of this series).
- Signed paperback of Quarantine by Lisabet Sarai (which is a gay romance sci fi set in a future where gay men are rounded up in concentration camps).
Check out Buy Books, Save Lives
These authors are donating their royalties to one of the organisations evacuating LGBT men from Chechnya. I saw one with mermen. Just saying 😉
Share the word on social media and your blog!
Or share the Buy Books, Save Lives.
Or share them all!
The hashtag for English efforts is #chechenrainbow.
Donate directly to the Russian LGBT Network
Dale Cameron-Lowry put together an FAQ to guide you through the donation process (it being in Russian and all).