It’s November, which means a lot of things: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Veteran’s Day, mine and my husband’s anniversary, THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL OMG, Catching Fire and Thor 2 premiers (look, I’m in a lot of fandoms, okay?) and so many, many awesome book releases. But in this house, November also means NaNoWriMo or: Do Not Even Think About Getting Out of Bed After 9:30pm, Mommy Has to Make Word Count Month. As such, I have more drafts sitting in my folder than I should probably admit to and more unanswered messages than is even remotely polite. Every free moment not juggling babies or errands or Other Work is spent hunched over a laptop or notebook, furiously writing. And because I’m an idiot and masochist, I promised my editor Book Two, which I’m currently working on for NaNo, the secondish week of December. Do you see where I’m going with this? Things are a little weird over here in Chez Wyllys.
But despite the incomplete blog post drafts, and the unforgivable amount of opened messages, I had to stop for a minute and come over here to talk about something important. Something that hits home for me.
The Lane Series, my series for those just joining me, deals a lot with poverty, among other things. This is especially true for book two, probably more so than Wild Ones. It’s an issue that I’ve personally dealt with, like many many others. I grew up poor. Not always, but many times. My dad did construction. My mom did childcare. Both depended on other people in order for them to be paid and other people cannot always be depended on. I spent chunks of my childhood and pieces of my teen years watching my parents scrimp and make magic happen, and skipping meals so my sister and I could eat when they couldn’t. They’d rob Peter to pay Paul, dancing the dance of the desperate to keep utilities turned on, and making an adventure out of it when they couldn’t. They were good parents, magic and miracle makers of parents, but my sister and I couldn’t help but see and feel the strain sometimes.
Because they worked, we never qualified for any kind of assistance, something I only ever heard them mention when things got especially tight. It was a vicious cycle. Work and you make too much money for help that could get you ahead, not work and be labeled a freeloader. My parents did not want to do the latter and because of that, were forced to do the former. Fortunately, we kids never went to bed hungry. I can’t say the same for them.
We also never missed out on Thanksgiving no matter how tough times were, thanks largely in part to careful planning and family we shared the holiday with. But had we not have had those things, family members and just enough extra money to buy Thanksgiving fare here and there in the weeks beforehand? Who’s to say.
And that’s the sad reality for many families this holiday season, like others before it. What’s, to most, a day filled with parades and football and family and so much food, is just another day that they have no choice to dine on little, if anything. Where parents go to bed hungry so they can at least put something in their kids’ bellies. For them, Thanksgiving is a source of depression, anxiety, and embarrassment. It’s not about giving thanks.
But it could be. And That’s where you come in.
The Scary Mommy Thanksgiving Project hooks up donors and families in need. 100% of the donations goes to a family who, otherwise, would not be able to celebrate Thanksgiving. $50 will support a whole family, smaller donations will be matched up with other donors. And those donations? Totally tax deductible. So you can make a family’s day and write it off come tax time. It’s a win-win.
To learn more and read testimonials from past Thanksgiving Projects, click the above image or this link: http://www.scarymommy.com/thanksgiving-2013/ and please, please consider making a donation. If nothing else, help spread the word. Be kickass. Make this holiday season a little less scary. Do it because you’re awesome and believe in doing awesome things.