Naughty Can Be Nice: Romance for a Reason, part 2

In my previous post I explained how Unbridled came to be and more importantly how it made the transformation from a fun piece written to satisfy my romance writing whim, to a work with more important themes (but still plenty of steamy fun). As I argued then, writing stories with admirable female characters is important, but it is only one way to honor, celebrate, and foster women’s strength and independence.

I’m also hoping to use Unbridled and my platform as an author (as small as it may currently be) to assist important causes that have touched me, my family, my friends, and countless women across the globe. Though there are numerous organizations and charities whose work benefit women, two stuck out to me, each for different reasons. The proceeds from Unbridled will be split equally between the two this fall.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The facts: Breast cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer facing women today, yet there are over 2.9 million breast cancer survivors living in America. Most of these women (and men) were saved by early detection and advances in treatment that would not have been available without the research and studies funded by non-profits like the BCRF.

My reasons: This one’s personal, having been so deeply affected by my mother’s initial cancer diagnosis when I was just a senior in high school and then again last November. Unfortunately, almost everyone I know has faced a breast cancer diagnosis of a woman they’ve loved, be it friend, sister, aunt, grandmother, or mother. No daughter should have to worry about whether her mother will be around to see her walk down the aisle. No mother should have to wonder if she’ll live to see her grandchild born. Though the survival rates of this particular form of cancer have tremendously improved in just the last decade, those fears can’t be eliminated until breast cancer itself is wiped off the map. This is the BCRF’s mission: to prevent and cure breast cancer in our lifetime.

Why this breast cancer charity: I did my homework. The BCRF is one of the highest ranked charities in the country, currently spending 91 cents of every dollar collected directly on research and awareness. This money goes to fund a variety of studies at top research universities across the globe, and recently they’ve also expanded to helping support awareness and prevention programs, which are key to increasing survival rates.

To learn more: Visit the BCRF’s website.

To help out: This fall I’ll be donating half the proceeds from Unbridled to the BCRF. There’s no need to wait, though. You can get a jump-start on supporting Romance for a Reason by visiting my page on the BCRF’s donation site: http://www.fundraiseforBCRF.org/romanceforareason

V-Day

The facts: One in every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually assaulted in her lifetime. That’s it. One fact. One bone-chilling, infuriating, unbelievable fact. One of V-Day’s primary missions is to make this fact more believable, because they believe that only by ending the silence that too often accompanies such attacks can we bring about an end to the violence.

My reasons: I am thankful that I have never been the one in three, but I’m vividly aware that it has little to do with precautions I’ve taken to protect myself and far more to do with luck. I have been the teacher, friend, and classmate of women who were victims of such assaults, some of whom shared their stories, others too afraid or traumatized to do more than hint. No women should have to suffer such treatment, and surely those that do should not feel the need to remain silent. If I can do anything to put a stop to such violence, if I can provide a voice to victims who cannot find their own, I will, because someone must.

Why this women’s charity: Like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, V-Day is a highly-rated charity which uses 86 cents of each dollar donated to directly end violence against women. It also balances global programs in countries where women have few rights and fewer advocates, with funding and leadership programs that create and sustain local charities and support groups. As an author, I was also drawn to V-Day because they believe as I do, that “Art has the power to transform thinking and inspire people to act.” V-Day began with Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monolgues, and her realization that her art not only had the potential to give women a voice, but also to act as a platform for social change. From one playwright’s pen sprang forth a movement that has aided thousands of women worldwide. How could I not choose this charity?

To learn more: For now, visit the V-Day site. Come February, see a performance.

To help out: Come its release this fall, V-Day will be receiving the second half of the proceeds from Unbridled. Like with the BCRF, though, you need not wait to donate! V-Day’s website doesn’t provide for individual fundraising pages, but they do accept online, text, or mailed donations here.

As I say in the forward to the collection, it’s time women take control of the pens and write our own tales. I’m starting here. Who’s joining me?

*To any authors or bloggers, I’m hoping to put together a blog tour this fall to help promote these causes. If you are willing to host Romance for a Reason, review or share a teaser/excerpt from Unbridled, or do a swap, please contact me! (lauren @ laurengrimley.com)

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