Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unleash Your Story and Make a Difference

From September 1st to the 30th I will be taking part in the first annual Unleash Your Story, a fund raising write-a-thon and read-a-thon that will not only help you meet your writing goals and give you a perfect excuse to curl up with a good book , but it will also give you the chance to win fabulous prizes while at the same time helping to raise money for a very worthy cause, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening disease that causes mucus to build up and clog some of the organs in the body, particularly in the lungs and pancreas. When mucus clogs the lungs, it can make breathing very difficult. The thick mucus also causes bacteria (or germs) to get stuck in the airways, which causes inflammation (or swelling) and infections that leads to lung damage.

Mucus also can block the digestive tract and pancreas. The mucus stops digestive enzymes from getting to the intestines. The body needs these enzymes to break down food, which provides important nutrients to help us grow and stay healthy. People with cystic fibrosis often need to replace the enzymes with capsules they take with their meals and snacks to help digest the food and get the proper nutrition. (

Here’s how Unleash Your Story works.

Readers and writers join a team or work as individuals to set a goal for the month. Supporters can donate in the name of their favourite team or individual and watch as word counts and pages read grow by the minute! Everyone who participates (writers, readers and supporters) will have a chance to enter a draw for a prize basket and everyone who meets their goals or keeps up with the Pacesetter will earn a certificate.

Who is that Pacesetter?

None other than the fabulous Debbie Macomber! As a best selling author, Debbie is famous for her persistence and dedication to writing daily and will be an inspiration to all of us to push on, to write more, to read more, and to donate more.

You have the choice of joining as an individual or as a team, and then register online at Unleash Your Story. If the direct link to CFF isn’t there yet, simply email us and we’ll let you know when it opens. After that, all you have to do is set a weekly goal. If you’re a writer, you goal will be set in words written. If you’re a reader, your goal will be set in pages read. Keep track of your progress and report them weekly to us.

Donations for you or your team will go directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation who will track not only the donations but also the goals. Every person or team who meets their weekly goals will receive a chance to enter a prize package. Those with the Top Five donation levels will be named Our Heroes and receive special rewards. We will also have certificates and special virtual rewards for you to post on your website.

How to donate:

Very soon, CFF will give us a live link from the Unleash Your Story site which will accept your donation and direct every cent of it to the CFF. You do not have to donate to participate, however we do encourage you to make a donation. Every cent donated in your name (individual or team) will count in your tally, and the more you raise, the better chance you have of winning a prize, and more importantly, the better we have of helping to find a cure.

And what are some of those prizes?

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has generously donated prizes of their own depending on the amount raised for an individual or team, and these include things such as Tshirts, mugs, backpacks, cameras and iPods.

Other prizes continue to pile up every day, including donated critiques from agents and editors, tote bags, books, promotional packages for authors and an AlphaSmart Neo. And these are just to name a few!

If you would like to donate a prize to this very worthy cause, please contact us and we’ll add it to the growing list.

I hope you will all join us in this very worthy cause. If you know a family who is directly affected by CF, you know how much they have to go through on a daily basis, not only to get their children’s airways cleared, but often it’s a struggle just to get the kids to eat. CF research has come a long way, but there’s still no cure, and we want to do everything we can to help them find one. What better way to help than by doing what we love?

So please join us. Read, write and donate. Have your friends and family donate. Post a link on your website and encourage your fans to join in and donate in your name. We’ll all come out better for it in the end!


Aideen said...

I always love popping over here, the posts and responses never fail to keep me entertained.
I'm not sure how I'll be able to do my part from Ireland but I can certainly be counted in.
When I first read this post I steppped back and thought 'WOW' because I wasn't expecting to see the words Cystic Fibrosis on Tote Bag 'n' Blogs. But it's done my heart good to realise that this condition isn't just limited to my household.
One of my sons has CF, diagnosed at 6 weeks and he has just turned 5. Yes, it is undoubtedly a struggle on some days but I would like to say here that children with this condition bring such joy, such pleasure to the lives around them that even on those 'bad' days, you can still find something to smile about.
I genuinely hope this post gets a tremedously positive response as there is no better cause in the world.
Much thanks from Ireland for highlighting such a fantastic and worthwhile idea.

All the best,

Laura Drewry said...

Aideen - thank you so much for responding. We hope to raise not only funds, but awareness so that your son will be cured very VERY soon!

Lori Devoti said...

I'm mom to two kids with CF. It is great to hear from other mothers. :)

Lori Devoti said...

Oh, and did Laura mention Registration is live now? So people can go on over and get signed up!

Lynn said...

The Unleash Your Story challenge is a great idea for a wonderful cause.

It also is a good warm-up for writers planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month.