Friday, November 27, 2015

What I Champion

This post is inspired by The Giving Way to Happiness and Giving Tuesday as part of Irish Banana's Blog Tours.

The holiday season is officially upon us. Whether that means bellies full of Turkey, houses full of tinsel, or anything otherwise, it's a giant giving season for the entire world - regardless of what you celebrate, and if you even celebrate at all. 

With that, as part of one of Irish Banana's Book Blitzes for The Giving Way to Happiness - which I included a synopsis for below  - I wanted to take the time to inform you all of a "cause that I champion", something that I am extremely passionate about. However, I do wish that you take the time to read the summary at the bottom of this post and consider picking up the book for the holiday season!

I work with a local elementary school in my area by the name of Harms Elementary School. To make a long description short, I partner with this elementary school to bring books to their classrooms, speak out about the importance of reading, and encourage students to write their own stories that they can publish.
These students are some of the most enthusiastic students that I have ever met! Their love for reading is SO large, and they would do anything to guarantee that they are able to enjoy stories. Reading and books in general is a way for these kids to escape some of the terrible cards that they have been dealt, and to focus on the positive. Many of these families do not have the money to pay for proper meals every day. A majority of these children are Hispanic and have parents that do not speak English at all (or speak very little of it).

These children fight the odds every day, and I am so proud of them for doing so. These kids take their love for reading and use it to better their lives. These kids fight for books. They fight for literacy. They fight for anything that allows them to see themselves in what they read. These kids fight for what they deserve.

The children are excited to get started image.
I mean, look at these faces! How can you deny a book to these guys!

In the last year, I worked with the school and my local chapter of Executive Women International to bring a poetry professional into their classrooms, after I challenged these students to write a book of their very own - something that I did at the age of eight - during one of the presentations I attended.

These children blew me out of the park. They had so many amazing stories, and so many unique voices. Some of the stories were very deep in subject matter, but these children had a lot to reflect on about their own lives, and lots of desires and regrets that they can only share through writing.

Honestly, I do feel kind of uncomfortable asking for this, but I would love it if you would be able to donate to this cause. At the moment, I do not have a Kickstarter going, but I am working on creating one so that more people are able to donate to this cause. I will be updating this post once the Kickstarter goes live with the link.

However, right now, my local chapter of Executive Women International is selling some of the storybooks that the children wrote themselves. This book is a collection of poems with a variety of topics and with a variety of different age groups. These books are ten dollars (USD). If you would like to purchase one, please comment down below, or email me at, and we can work something out. The money from this sale goes directly to continuing the "Author Under Construction Programme" as we call it at Harms Elementary.

However, if you don't want to do that, I partner with my school to run a book drive every year. Last year alone, we were able to donate over one thousand books! I would love it if we would be able to contribute that many books this year as well! If you are willing to donate any books (or money to purchase them) I would be forever grateful (and this goes for authors as well!) Please email me if you are interested in donating.

We are looking for ANY books as long as they are in good condition (no rips or tears). We can take books for preschool up through adults (as there is also a community center nearby that has a massive need for books)!

Please tweet me (@iamabookjunkie) or email me at if you are able and interested to donate.
Even if you cannot donate, I would love it if you spread the word by reblogging this post. It means the world to me! I would love it if I was able to at least get one donation before Giving Tuesday.

In other amazing news, Wunderkind PR is running a giveaway through this blog blitz. They are going to donate $50.00 to the charity of the winner's choice! Isn't that exciting?! Click below to enter the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you curious about the book that sparked this post? Read here! I really hope you decide to pick it up, either for yourselves or for other people!

We often focus on how our gifts can help those in need. But the act of giving actually improves our own lives as well. In The Giving Way to Happiness, Jenny Santi overturns conventional thinking about what it takes to be happy by revealing how giving to others—whether in the form of money, expertise, time, or love—has helped people from all walks of life find purpose and joy. Drawing on the wisdom of great thinkers past and present, as well as cutting-edge scientific research, Santi makes an eloquent and passionate case that oftentimes the answers to the problems that haunt us, and the key to the happiness that eludes us, lie in helping those around us.

This book is filled with inspiring stories told firsthand by Academy Award winner Goldie Hawn, Noble Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, supermodel Christy Turlington Burns, Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp, philanthropist Richard Rockefeller, environmentalist Philippe Cousteau, activist Ric O’Barry, bestselling author Isabel Allende, ALS survivor Augie Nieto, and many others from all over the world. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they have all found unexpected happiness and fulfillment through giving. This book tells us not just how they changed the world but also how their acts changed their very own lives.

In addition, Santi reveals:
- How altruism involves far more than suppressing basic selfish urges. Rather, we are wired to give, as it activates the same pleasure centers of the brain stimulated by food, sex, and drugs
- How helping others—whether by walking a friend through a struggle that you’ve also experienced or by supporting a cause to honor a loved one’s memory—can be a healthy way to deal with adversity and process grief
- The unexpected reasons why those who “gave it all up” to make a difference, and who face the direst situations, are nevertheless some of the happiest, most fulfilled, and least angst-ridden people you’ll ever meet.
- Practical, universally applicable lessons on what kind of giving makes people happy and what doesn’t. How do you discover giving that is unique to you and makes you feel good?

In this inspiring book, Santi turns conventional wisdom upside down about what it takes to be happy and reveals the surprising reasons that have led so many people to live lives full of meaning, purpose and happiness.

Links: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it) and I hope you all have an amazing holiday season to come! :)


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for featuring The Giving Way to Happiness on your blog =))


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on our blog posts! I will always try and get back to each and every single one of your comments! Please feel free to leave suggestions for new books to review, as well as comments on the individual reviews themselves. Again, thank you so much for stopping by!