Tag Archives: backpack party

I’ll See Your Hair, And Raise You A Book

I’ve had a couple of harmonic convergences in the last few months.

Last year I toyed with the idea of shaving my head. I’ve wanted to do it for quite a while—just for fun cuz I’ve never done it before—but the timing never quite worked out. There was always a family wedding (with photos!) or conference season (with photos!) getting in the way. Since I’d never done it before, I had no idea if it would be so ugly that I’d scare children and the elderly. So, timing was important to me.

Another thing getting in my way was the annual fundraising party I throw to raise money to fill backpacks with emergency necessities for foster kids suddenly removed from their homes. I’d been procrastinating setting a date because I had some events up in the air and the Backpack Party date requires finesse. I like to give people enough time to take advantage of back-to-school sales to buy clothes and backpacks, so I can’t do it too early in June or too late in August or when everyone is on vacation in July. Complicated!

Seemingly unrelated—but stick with me here—is that in February, an independent bookstore Books Are Awesome opened in my town, a glorious, glorious occasion as we haven’t had one here in twenty years. Finally, I’ll be able to send my readers to a dedicated indie store to buy signed copies of my books! I’ll have a local place for book launches! I’ll have a bookstore 1.38 miles from my house! O frabjous day!

(Books Are Awesome is abbreviated to BAA, so their logo is an adorable cartoon sheep. Definitely my kind of place!)

But then in March, the whole world shut down. No conferences. No Backpack Party. And potentially no bookstore.

Using the full force of my little grey cells, I tried to figure out how to help the foster kids and Books Are Awesome … and myself, if I’m being totes honest. It would break my heart to get a bookstore yanked from my little grubbies when it took so long to get one here.

One of the things we put in each backpack for the foster kids (along with new pjs, a couple of new outfits for school, a sweatshirt, toiletries, and a small stuffed animal) is a new book. But how could I get people to buy books specifically from Books Are Awesome for my foster kids project?

And then it came to me.

I’ll shave my head!

A shearing for BAA, if you will.

People would pay to see the aftermath of that, right? Then I could turn around and use the money to buy books for the backpacks from Books Are Awesome.

So that’s the plan, folks … if you want to see what Bald Becky looks like, all you have to do is donate to the Backpack Party GoFundMe page. In return, I’ll send you pics from all angles of my knobby head, perhaps even getting my stylist to create artistic and fun shapes as she goes shorter and shorter and …. gulp …. shorter. Maybe you’ll see something fabutastic like a Reverse Mohawk, or the rarely seen Three-Quarters Head of Hair.

Just like with the Wells Fargo wagon, it could be anything!

Click here to donate!

Any amount is welcome, but please be as generous as you can. Perhaps I’ll have a sliding scale … the bigger the donation, the more photos you’ll get of this potentially disastrous—and definitely ridiculous—event!

My appointment is tentatively set for Monday May 4th , which seems like it should be okay, but these days you can’t be too sure, eh? Regardless, the sooner you donate, the sooner you’ll see photos.

I promise not to be visible in public for at least a couple of months, which, at the rate my hair grows, might be enough to be back to normal. Rest assured, nobody will get to see my glorious noggin without paying.

So … who’s ready to help foster kids and a brand-spankin-new indie bookstore as well as have a hearty laugh at my expense??

Backpack Party

Did you know that foster kids often have to carry all their belongings in garbage bags? And that when they enter the system it’s almost always abrupt? Sometimes they’re picked up directly from school and they never see their home or their stuff again. Can you imagine?

The image of these kids toting their possessions in black plastic bags haunts me.

These days I feel helpless, and a bit hopeless, in a million different ways. The problems of the world are too overwhelming. The solutions too elusive. The outcomes too critical.

But these kids. And their garbage bags. That’s a problem I realized I could help fix, at least for a few of them.

A little legwork connected me with a couple of organizations in Colorado, where I live, as well as a national group. They’ve become my liaisons between donations and the caseworkers who interact with the kids. I learned that a backpack with just a few items made a world of difference to these kids.

I’ve started a GoFundMe page to raise money and I’m having a party toward the end of July to collect up backpacks and items these foster kids need when they enter the system.

I’ve asked guests to bring backpacks and/or items from the wish list. The party is just a fun, family-oriented celebration with a taco bar, tournaments in giant-sized team Scrabble, bean bag toss, men vs women trivia, and more. Then after the party, I’ll use the GoFundMe donations to supplement the items and backpacks.

Filling a backpack for a newly displaced foster kid is not overwhelming or elusive, like most issues in the world these days. It’s something I can do. And you can do. It won’t solve the problems that foster kids face, but it will make it easier for them to muddle through those early days with a new pair of pajamas, a toothbrush, a book, and a toy.

We can’t do everything, but we can do something.

Please share this and the GoFundMe page and let’s see how many foster kids we can help.

I plan to make this an annual event, but I think I need a better name for this party. Comment with your entry, and if I think it’s the best, I’ll donate $50 in your name to the GoFundMe page AND send a signed copy of my book FICTION CAN BE MURDER to anyone you want.

Let’s do this thing!

Becky