Buy a Book. Save a Dream.
When Harvey hit, I fled my home before anyone thought it would be that bad. I thought my house might handle this hurricane as it had so many others – but right on the coast, I was going to get slammed and possibly flooded. In another part of Texas, I worried the river would rise and flood my grandparent’s old house as it has so many times. Then, I went to my parents home for evacuation only to find I was right next to the eye of the storm.
You know what? All of those houses had minimal damage. Harvey played its havoc on the one place that we weren’t expecting. My uncle’s homestead that he and his family have literally been building with their own hands for the last two years. They lacked the roof and the framing collapsed. Then a tree fell on their chicken coop. Their little bunkhouse they’d planned on moving into soon blew away. And overnight their dreams once more collapsed.
The thing I love about them the most is that they have humor and are not afraid to be themselves no matter how different those selves are from each other. Kayla is a dancer and has mad makeup skills that I wish I had 1/10 of for my acting. Amy could probably build a robot bodyguard but she doesn’t need one because she can roundhouse kick you on her way to acting class. Tyler can handle sports whether they’re on the field or in the most complicated video game ever created. My aunt and uncle have a huge capacity for resilience and hope. In the last few years the family has faced multiple floods which ruined their house, scary illnesses which make working hard, and you know what? They just keep going.
But there was another dream that was destroyed and that’s the one I want to talk about. I have another cousin who is part of that family. Her name is Lauren and her dream was taken by Harvey too. Lauren and I have had many talks over the years about acting and entrepreneurship. She has listened to me talk for hours about my struggles publishing, my hopes for my imprint, my plans for developing my dreams. Her dreams are similar to mine.
She wants to be an actress and perhaps a health coach. She’s stayed near her family to help them rebuild their home and she’s been growing a little dream of her own. She got an airstream trailer that she wants to call home. Besides launching her into independent living, it will allow her to travel to the places where she is acting. It will help her set aside money and become financially stable even in the early stages of her career when so many artists struggle to find the balance between doing what they love and paying the bills.
But when Harvey was finished with demolishing her family’s house, it went after her trailer too and the Roadhog was left in a shambled bit. The entire family is facing yet another tragedy, heartbreak, and discouragement. All of their resources went into building materials for their home and now they’re left to literally salvage what they can.
Amy has started a “Go Fund Me” for the rebuilding of the family’s home and in honor of her parents who have worked so hard for their family. It frustrates me not to be able to help them rebuild, not to help them much financially because I got slammed with a series of car repairs. It breaks my heart to see all of their dreams shattered in a pile of lumber.
The hardest part of the aftermath of a disaster is that it affects so many friends. You want to help everyone and you can’t. How do you decide who to help? Do you go for the greater good or the individual? I’m an entrepreneur. I know that the larger pictures often crowd out the individual dreams. That people tend to set aside their own dreams and come to aid the people they love. And sometimes it’s harder to find that path again, harder to take up that dream, harder to sustain their hope when their family is suffering.
While Lauren is helping fight family fires, I want to help keep the coals of her own dream burning for her. And I’ve realized I can. I don’t have a whole lot of money sitting around but I have a whole lot of books sitting around. So here’s the deal, folks. If you’ve been thinking about getting a copy of “Across the Distance” now’s the time to do it. If you will purchase your copy directly from my website, I will ship you a signed edition of “Across the Distance” until September 31 or I am out of copies. On October 1st, I’m going to put our collective contribution into Lauren’s “GoFundMe” account. That means every cent that you pay or donate for your copy of this book is going to go to Lauren to help her rebuild her home.
Will you help me show her that her dream still matters, is still in reach, and counts?