When Irene ripped through the East Coast we were fairly new to Vermont. I was shocked to see the devastation that a hurricane turned tropical storm could cause so far up here! There was news of flooding that wiped away entire homes. Many families lost everything. While we were not affected immediately, there was definitely an urge inside me to do something to help. I volunteered with Vermont 211 to take phone calls and record storm damage. It was something small, but I felt like I helped in some way. When a friend of mine told me about a book he wrote to raise money for farms affected by the storm, I knew I wanted to share it with you. It's just another small way I (and you!) can help.
I asked Kevin Fitton, the author, to tell me about the book and here is what he shared with me:
The idea behind the book came from a story I heard on Vermont Public Radio about a week after Hurricane Irene swept through Vermont. The reporter (who is actually our neighbor, Melody Bodette) told about a farm in Royalton which lost a half dozen of their cows when the White River surged over its banks. This story planted a seed in my mind, and I soon had an idea for a book about a farm like the one in Royalton. In my story, the storm damages the farm and some of the cows are lost, but their neighbors come to their aid and help them rebuild. Since the book was about neighbors helping neighbors, I wondered if I could recruit a Vermont artist and Vermont publisher to do the book with me and use the book as a fundraiser for farms like the one in the news story. So I took a complete shot in the dark and emailed my manuscript to my favorite children's book illustrator, Mary Azarian, who happens to live in Vermont (and who I had never met, mind you). And shock of all shocks, she wrote me back and said she would read it. And then, after she read it, she said she would like to be involved if I could find a publisher. So I then contacted Radiant Hen, which is a small Vermont publisher of children's books, and within a few days, they expressed interest in the project. And then both Mary and Tanya (the editor at Radiant Hen) agreed to donate their time to make the book happen.
Neighbors helping neighbors! I love it! And what a great lesson to teach our kids!
Here is a blurb about the book as shared on Radiant Hen's website:
When a Hurricane strikes and causes disastrous flooding, the humans aren't the only ones who need to seek higher ground! A story of kindness, love and inner strength that is sure to become an instant classic.
An Excerpt from the book:
"Now, unless you're a dairy farmer this may be hard to understand, but those cows are part of our family. We feed them, and by giving us their milk, they feed us too..."
Now here's how you can help!
The book, Higher Ground, is available for pre-order from radianthen.com. I'd love to see them sell out of the books they have prepared for pre-printing!
100% of the proceeds of the purchase of this book will go directly to The Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund. The price is $10.95 plus shipping (a steal when it comes to buying a children's book!).
Please join me in supporting some of our most important community members, our farmers! Like the bumper sticker says, "If you ate today, thank a farmer!"
*Not a sponsored post! Kevin is a personal friend of mine. As are many farmers! :)