Deep down inside, all authors know they're lucky to be doing what they're doing. Creative work is the most satisfying in the world, and whether you're a worldwide bestseller or a beginning indie author, you know you've got a good thing going. It's great to be able to enjoy this good fortune, but it's also a good thing to share in that luck. One of the most satisfying things you can do is to give back some of that luck to someone less fortunate. Even if you're a new publisher with no royalties coming in yet, you can share your knowledge and experience with those who need a small hand to better their lives. Here are four ways for authors to give back. Join in on one of these efforts, or research to find one that fits you better. You'll be glad you did.
Better World Books
Better World Books is a non-profit that collects and sells books to help fund literacy drives worldwide, as well as donating books to disadvantaged people around the world. They've so far raised over $15 million and donated over 10 million books to libraries and groups around the world. If you purchase a book from their site, they'll donate another book to someone needy. Go even further and donate copies of your own books for them to share with people around the world.
LIT -- Literacy for Incarcerated Teens
LIT is dedicated to ending illiteracy among New York's younger incarcerated population. There is a strong correlation between crime and illiteracy, and LIT aims to break this bond by teaching as many youth as possible to read and to form a better personal outlook for the future. If you live in the New York area, LIT welcomes volunteers, If not, they accept cash donations.
WriteGirl, an L.A.. based nonprofit, pairs girls from 13-18 years of age with women authors to explore the world of creativity and to empower them in their own creative efforts. The results are nothing short of amazing. 100 percent of the core participants have graduated from high school and gone on to college. If you live in the greater Los Angeles area, contact them to be a volunteer. If not, look for similar programs in your area. If there are none, get together with other writers and start your own program at local schools.
Dedicated to bringing the gift of literacy to millions of people worldwide, Project Literacy is the biggest organization of its kind. Using a diverse arsenal of tools from storytelling to computer literacy, this organization aims to create real social change by teaching millions of people to read. Project Literacy offers volunteer opportunities on the grass roots level in every state and around the world. From going on storytelling field trips to providing job skills training for young adults, there is a volunteer opportunity for you and your skills somewhere in this organization.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!