Literary Giving

I had such fun coming up with the 2012 Literary Gift Guide, but it made me think about how this season is not just for giving gifts to your favorite writer but also about giving to those who are less fortunate. I have been thinking of my own charitable giving for the Christmas season and deciding what form it will take. Food drive? Coat drive? A donation to an aid organization? Hurricane relief? I am open to suggestions, readers, so please feel free to share your thoughts.

In the meantime, I thought I’d make a list of five literary places that need your support this season.

1. Poetry Daily has a notice up on its site this morning: they’re $18,000 shy of their fundraising goal. I plan to send them $20, since they have given me my daily dose of poetry for going on twelve years.

2. Your local library can always use a little extra support.

3. 826 Valencia, which is “dedicated to supporting students 6?18 with their writing skills,” among other things, could always use your money. I like how, on their donate page, they give you concrete examples of what your money could buy.

4. A literacy organization. I’d like to plug A Chance through Literacy,? founded by my friend Jennifer Wilson, who was killed a little over a year ago. Luckily, her organization continues to do its good work in the field of literacy. And there are many others that need donations, too.

5. Write Around Portland. I’d forgotten about this great organization until today. If you’d rather give locally, look for an organization in your area that helps under-served populations using the power of writing.

And what a power it is!