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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Melissa McClone: Authors With Heart Mother's Day Totes


Romance authors and readers are some of the most caring and generous folks around. When you ask for help, they step forward in a big way.

I want to tell you about a group that I’m calling #authorswithheart. They helped me with a project near and dear to my heart—providing Mother’s Day goodie bags to moms staying at two Washington state Fisher Houses. If you don’t know anything about Fisher House, click on this link. It’s a fantastic organization that supports military families.

The first goodie bag!
For the past three years, I’ve sent Mother’s Day goodie bags to the two Fisher Houses. I’d seen a request for help from a service member care package organization and offered to send something.

The first year was a solo effort. Each clear goodie bag contained an autographed book, a pair of footies, a candy bar and two tea bags. I secured them with a ribbon and attached a little card.

Year two goodie bag!
The next year, I was no longer volunteering with the organization, but offered to send something again if they’d like. They did, and I decided to do more this time.

I asked authors, readers and friends to sponsor Thirty-One Thermal Totes. I also asked authors if they’d send a few books. Some authors sent more than a few and also included swag, which I hadn’t thought to ask for. I was so happy how the tote bags turned out, and they were a big hit!
This year, I found out the organization I’d gone through the past two year had changed their focus so wasn't working with the Fisher House for Mother's Day, but they gave me the phone numbers of the house managers. I called and asked if I could send Mother’s Day totes this year. They said yes!

This year's contents!
I approached authors first, starting with last year’s participants and then asked other authors. I'd learned my lesson last year so made a point to request swag!

By the time I’d heard back from everyone, I had enough authors wanting to sponsor totes. I also had more than enough books, not to mention swag. I was so excited, and that excitement grew each time another box arrived. Opening them was like Christmas!

Thirty thermal totes were filled with over 200 romance novels, a goodie bag filled with book/author swag (bookmarks, pens, post-it notes, jewelry, key chains, chapstick, jar opener, nail files, measuring spoon, combs, postcards, luggage tags, etc.), a goodie bag filled with pampering items (nail polish, shower puffy, tissue, hair band, comb, footie socks, and candy and a cone of flavored popcorn!

Putting it all together!
The goodie bag assembly took place on my dining room table, which we only use for holiday dinners! I sorted the swag into thirty piles then bagged it! All went into a tote bag along with a card with the sponsor author's name. They were boxed and mailed to the two Fisher Houses.

One of the Fisher Houses wrote to me the following: 
"...these have been delightful, the guests love them!"
I'd like to give a shout-out to the authors who helped me this year. Some sponsored totes, others donated books and/or swag. Some did all three. I can't thank them enough for their generosity and time.

 
Over the next several months, I'm doing features on the Authors With Heart at my website's blog. You can find out about one of the author's titles and win an eBook, too. I hope you'll check out the posts!
 
Now I have a giveaway for you! I made up goodie bags with the leftover swag from the Mother's Day totes. There’s a grand prize, a 2nd place prize and three runner-up prizes for you to win. 

Leave a comment and I’ll choose the winners using random.org on Monday evening, May 25th. Be sure to check back to see if you won.

If you're a winner, you can contact me via my website or PM me on my Facebook page. If I don't hear from winners by Friday, May 29th, I'll pick new winners and post them here and on my Facebook page on Saturday, May 30th.

246 comments:

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Laurie G said...

Even though I had to work most of the day, I did manage to share a nice dinner with my 90 yo mom at her favorite restaurant.

Hope you also enjoyed your day.

I love the cooperation between authors, so much support both emotionally and physically.

Thanks for the chance to win one of your treat "goodie" bags!

Have a happy Memorial Day every one. I'll be traveling.

Janine said...

I think it's wonderful how you do this each year

Amy L. said...

Thank you for the chance to win!

Quilt Lady said...

This is an awesome thing you do every year!

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Thank you for this. I think you and your merry band of authors are really generous because I know this isn't the only donation that you all make.

Candace Coeyman said...

Thank you for the chance!

Brandi Chaney said...

What a wonderful person you are.

Kate Bobb said...

This is awesome :)

connie carp said...

Thanks for the chance

Chrissy TheEveryFreeChanceReader said...

This is awesome! Thanks for the chance!

Leanna said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Judy Howell said...

What a fun idea!!!!!

dstoutholcomb said...

What a wonderful and generous person you are--knowing you, I'm not surprised! Blessings!
Denise

Michelle H. said...

What a fantastic idea! I love that you provided something for the Fisher House families. If you ever decide to open this up to your readers, I'd love to sponsor a bag. Now I'm inspired to do something similar in our area.

mom2twogirls82 said...

I'm so excited to have found your page and to be a part of your life in a way. I love your books but I also enjoy hearing about your children and daily life! Good luck to all

Kelsey Perkins said...

Awesome, thanks!

Audra said...

Thank you for the great giveaway, I love totes, books and swag, it's great that your group of great writers pay it forward you never know what one act of kindness might mean for someone. You are appreciated.

PoCoKat said...

Thanks for the opportunity!

Kathryn Elliott said...

Thank you for all you do.

erika Buzard said...

thank you for being such a kind giving person!!!

Katy said...

I'm not a mom, but I have one of the best as my mother. :-) She instilled a love of reading at a very young age - and I can remember begging her to read romances. She wasn't too keen on Harlequins since I was only about 12, but she compromised by letting me read Barbara Cartland's historical romances. Nothing quite like romance to make you smile. Now, if I could only get the hubby to read them for ideas.....ha!

raquel zapanta said...

Awesome!! Hoping to win #crossfingers Thanks much for the giveaways!!! :-D

Judy Weaver said...

What a nice thing for you to do! Love the bag!! Thanks for the chance to win all those goodies!

misty gaoutte-clarkson said...

i love your caring hearts and all the other authors to imagine what the world would be like if there were more who cared about strangers

Missy Terry said...

This made my heart so happy! It is amazing that you and fellow authors were able to make their day.

Marsha Mcdaniel said...

You are so awesome to think of these wonderful ladies and everyone loves a swag bag. Romance authors really are the best. Thank you for the leftovers which are always more tasty.

Bonnie said...

Now this is something I see really bringing some joy,you are an angel!

VickeC said...

what a wonderful thing to do,,i love reading even when times were low ,,my books helped take me to another place,,thanks for sharing love the post

Sherelle Ellis said...

This is an awesome giveaway!!!
Thanks for the chance!!! :)

Jennifer Schantz said...
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Jennifer Schantz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holley Smith said...

You are awesome . i love swag

Jennifer Schantz said...

Thank you for the chance to win! You are one of the most generous authors.

Christina Salem said...

I'm so happy to see when people do good things for others. It puts a big smile on my face when I see others doing wonderful, caring, and thought things. It just show the world that people still do have hearts and care. Thanks for being one of those people.

Jennifer Schantz said...

Thank you for the chance to win! You are one of the most generous authors.

Keisha Talley said...

Great idea. We may do something similar next year. Thanks for the chance to win

regencygirl01 said...

Fisher House is awesome. Anything that supports military and their families

susieqlaw said...

Thank you for your kindness and thank you to all the authors for donating to the Fisher House.

Darlene Holley said...

what a wonderful person you are to do so much all by yourself for a great cause!! thank you for sharing with your readers. :)

Charish Otte said...

Thanks for the chance!!!

Danielle Day said...

Nice, thanks for the chance!

Shannon Moore Smith said...

What a nice thing to do every year!

Keyria.Lockheart said...

That is so awesomely sweet! I love that You got with other amazing authors and made so many people happy. You all are awesome. Thank you so much for the chance!!!!!

Melissa McClone said...

This entry is for Danielle Robertson who was having trouble posting.

Dawn said...

I'm happy that there are people in this world like you, who would put in the time and effort for such a great cause.

Connie said...

You are always so wonderful to work so hard to offer these terrific giveaways. It has to be fun for you too! :-) Thanks for the time you put into them.

WhiteDragon said...

The #authorswithheart is amazing group and so kind. Thanks for the chance.

Kim Misevich said...

Thank you for all that you do! And thank you for this chance to win some of the swag! You rock!!!

Gallegos Newsletter said...

Look at all the FUN stuff! I hope to be a lucky one! Thank you!

Tanya Phillips said...

What generOus authors you all are. A big welsh higu five. Thanks for the chance.

Sarah Harmon said...

Thank you for the chance! You are an amazing person!!!!

Emilie said...

What a wonderful thing for you all to do!!!!

Unknown said...

thanks for the chance to win,

Donna E said...

I am beginning to think authors are some of the most giving people. First, they give of their creative talent by writing books for others to read and enjoy. Then, they generously give of their resources. Thank you, Melissa, for giving of your time and energy to reaching out to military families, and especially Moms, with these goodies bags. It had to have taken much time to contact authors and then to sort and package all the bags. As a military spouse (hubby retired 23 years ago -- WOW, has it really been *that* long?!?}, I want to thank you, and the many authors, on behalf of all those who were recipients.

Lil said...

That was a nifty idea you had and a great response from the authors who donated. What a wonderful thing to do and the recipients must have been thrilled.

mariska said...

That's so awesome! Thank you for the chance.

Brooke Bumgardner said...

What a wonderful thing to do each year. Well done. :) Thank you for the chance.

brookeb811 at gmail dot com

Sue Peace said...

What a thoughtful thing for you to do!! And so great to have all that support from so many other authors this year! I'm sure the bags were appreciated so much! :)

Andrea said...

always such fun giveaways on your page! Thank you for making it open internationally, and for the chance :)
(FB name is Andrea Amy)
andrea_hockeygirl at hotmail dot com

Catherine Robichaud said...

What a wonderful thing that the other author's and you do. I'm sure every woman who received a tote was thrilled.

Melissa McClone said...

This comment is for Jodi Schulman. She says: it's a great thing that you all get together and help out people. And how books are great and make people happy.

Melissa McClone said...

This comment is for Sanja Šota Rožmarić.

Ashley Thompson said...

I was active duty for 7+ years and now I'm a military spouse and without your support our troops and veterans wouldn't be able to do what they do! They truly sacrifice so much and it's the little things that make a difference! Thank you! :)

Amy Garnet said...

Thanks for the chance!!!

Kim Davis said...

That is a good thing you do for others, Taking your time and giving back. Thanks to all the Authors for being so generous.

tisonly143 said...

What an amazing giveaway and thanks for thinking of us,, so kind of you..

Barbara T. said...

Leftovers are wonderful.

Scott & Melanie Ashman said...

How amazing and generous! Thank you and all the authors and contributors for doing this for Fisher House ladies! And thank you for sharing some booty with us!

CBarton said...

Mothers Day is a bit sad around here. My mom has been gone 10 years and my husband doesn't really do anything special. My son, god love him, got me a card and some candy. Course he ate the majority of it before giving it to me...lol Thank you for the chance for some awesome swag!!

cmucha319 AT yahoo DOT com

Sandie W said...

You are so inspiring...you make me want to be a better person!

mrsnoah said...

I know that those ladies loved their goodie bags! Thanks for helping out!

ptclayton said...

How amazing and also so generous wow and thank you for the chance of winning!

Cristie Lagarde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SiNn said...

you are truly inspiring I now want to do more for my community and it goes to show that one small gesture can turn in to a huge one and the impact is awesome thank you for your kindness and for sharing your mothers day story you are awesome!

NaDell Ransom said...

They are smart to let you give their things away! You do it best!

Gina Hines said...

Wow, those look amazing. Great work!

wickster72 said...

Thank you for the giveaway. That bag is too cute.

Tiffany Davis said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity! It is truly inspiring to know that there are people in the world w/ such selfless/ giving hearts!!

Lori Thomas said...

Thank you for the giveaway.

Linda Stults said...

Thank you to all the wonderful people that put these wonderful bags together. They are a great gift to many. Thanks for the chance to win one for myself.

Jean said...

Fun ideas! Thanks for the chance to win!

Mary Mac said...

I follow Melissa's blog and know that she has such a kind and caring heart to make up all these beautiful swag bags for women in need.

Janel Flynn said...

Thank you for the chance. :-)

ellie said...

I think it's awesome that you do this, and all the authors who cooperated too. Good for y'all!!! And thank you for this giveaway!

kaisquared said...

Thank you for all you have done for the Fisher Houses!

Mary M.

melissa stacy said...

Thanks for the chance

DanieX said...

thank you for the chance :D

Jean Ann Phillips said...

Thank you so much for the chance! :-)

Heather Stanley said...

I love that you do this every year!! I did not have a huge day this year but it was a great day with my hubby and kids and for that I'm grateful :)

robynl said...

so nice of you and the other authors for doing this.
I love author goodies/swag and of course, would like this as I've not gotten any
for some time.

Marissa Yip-Young said...

It was nice cause to give back to the community.

Kelli Jo said...

That is so very awesome!! Those women deserve to be pampered. If an author is donating proceeds from the pre-orders of their books to Fisher House, I try to always pre-order.

Michelle Webb said...

Thanks for the chance I'd love one I need some cheering up first year without my mom on Mother's Day was hard you all do such great thing for everyone god bless

Beautifulblessings86 said...

Thanks for the giveaway

Beautifulblessings86 said...

Thanks for the giveaway

Anita Seymour said...

What a fantastic gift for those at the Fisher Houses! You and the other authors did such a wonderful thing!
Anita S.

Bev said...

Fisher House is such a worthy cause. I've bought many a book that supports it. Thank you Melissa McClone!

Lisa Sherrington said...

Melissa McClone I love all that you did for Fisher House - so nice & such a worthy cause. I enjoy reading about you every day! My oldest son turns 31 this wek and my youngest with Autism is 11 years old~! Love them both sooo much! Have a great week everyone!

Kelly said...

What a wonderful cause and that you were able to share the love with some great stuff.

petite said...

What a kind and thoughtful gift for Fisher House. Thanks for your wonderful post.

traveler said...

All the authors are generous and giving. Best wishes.

Amanda Adkins said...

It's so awesome you did this and to the others that donated as well.

Debra Basye said...

Your the best at swag bag giveaways, thank you again for another wonderful opportunity!

myia lamon said...

Awesome giveaway

Melissa Graham said...

That's so sweet! Reminds me of my friend who does bags for breast cancer patients. :-)

Karen Evans said...

Thank You, for bringing a smile to many faces :)

Bonnie Hildwein said...

Please and thank you for the chance
Bonnie hildwein
Bbh0525@gmail.com

Leslie Waters said...

What an eagle you are.

Stacy Reed said...

What a beautiful story!

Stacy Reed said...

What a beautiful story!

Brenda Penton said...

Thank you for the chance

brendapenton(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie said...

What a great gesture!

jeanine thornton said...

This is a wonderful thing

Tina Hairston said...

You always have the best ideas for giveaway swag :)

Teresa G said...

What an awesome thing to do for other mothers. 😄

Cynthia St. Germain said...

Thank you for doing this. It is wonderful that you and your fellow authors do this.

Troy and Mel's Reviews and More said...

Thank you for putting smiles on the faces of many people- Melissa Ramos marielvekids(at)yahoo(dot)com

Troy and Mel's Reviews and More said...

not sure why such big spaces are there. :/

asherares said...

Thank you for the giveaway.

meme40 said...

What a great looking prize :) It would be wonderful to win this! Thank you for the chance!

Cindy marley said...

I would just love to win that.Keeping my fingers crossed.

Unknown said...

This is such a great thing that you've done. I know those who received these really appreciate it a lot. Good luck to all! Martha Luketich

C Condy said...

Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway! I would LOVE to win this prize pack!

Janis Petzold said...

what a neat idea! awesome!

80slady said...

Thank you for the giveaway

Sharon Brimer said...

Thanks for the chance to win!

Connie Wallace said...

Melissa, reading this put such a smile on my face and truly touched my heart! What a wonderful & beautiful thing you and the 27 authors did. Giving to the Fisher House! I'm sure this kindness and hard work blessed so many. I don't know how you always find the time to "Pay it Forward" but you do! As a fan, I truly do appreciate all you do and I'm also thankful that you share these stories with us. Blessings 😃

Ginny LaMere said...

what an awesome thing to do thanks for the chance to win

carrie said...

That is such an awesome thing to do. What a blessing that must have been to the women that received them. Thanks for sharing the info about Fisher Houses. Thanks for the chance to win.

carrie said...

That is such an awesome thing to do. What a blessing that must have been to the women that received them. Thanks for sharing the info about Fisher Houses. Thanks for the chance to win.

Angela Heath said...

This is so awesome of you :) thank you for the chance to win an awesome giveaway :)

lrhubble said...

that is a very nice thing to do. :-)

Linda Levine said...

I would love to win. Such fun stuff!

Lori Lazzara said...

One day maybe I will win! Thank you for doing this for your followers!

Cheryl Hastings said...

What a great giveaway! Bless you and all the wonderful authors who participated in this worthy cause :)

Lori Raines said...

Thanks so much!

Lori Raines said...

Thanks so much!

Kimber said...

Ty for the giveaway

Sarah Frank said...

What an amazing thing!!!

Kim Trask said...

Thank you for another wonderful opportunity!

Jean W said...

Thank you for doing this for Fisher House. As a military spouse, we often get overlooked and this is a great way to remind them that they matter.

The Color of Ink said...

Have a fabulous week. :)

Ayeisha C said...

Thank you for the opportunity

Toni Michelle said...

Fantastical!

Gina H. said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Dana said...

Don't it feel good to do for others? The world is so starved for attention...acts of kindness make impacts whether we see it or not. Never pass up a chance to help others. Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Herrmann said...

Thank you for this chance and good luck to everyone

Victoria Stolte said...

That is such an awesome thing to do and I am sure the women are very appreciative to have someone think of them ❤️💚💛💜💙

poetryinleaves said...

Authors with heart sounds like a great tour.

Vonnie Alto said...

What a sweet thing to do...giving back and so unselfishly! It really is all about heart.

Ria Alemina Ginting Manik said...

What you do is great! Sharing love and caring for others that's what we call Humanity! I think everyone should and need to be more care to others these days.

Ann Mettert said...

What an amazing thing for you to do for Mother's Day. ;)
pmettert@yahoo.com

Sheryl P said...

Thank you so much for the chance xo

anne marie Carter said...

Thanks for having these giveaways. It's always fun to win books and book related things.

Holli Greer said...

Mother's Day this year was spent at the hospital - finding out I had pneumonia. UGH so not fun. On the plus side, I got cuddle and movie time with my teenage son and preteen daughter - me being ill made it so they didn't fight with each other. I hope your Mother's Day was amazing. Thank you for the contests! They are always fun and full of interesting prizes.

sally0630 said...

I would love to win thanks for the chance.
sally0630@frontiernet.net

Lola Donnelley said...

I'm sure Fischer house occupants were delighted receiving your goodies. Thanks for the chance at the leftover goodies.

Lola Donnelley said...

I'm sure Fischer house occupants were delighted receiving your goodies. Thanks for the chance at the leftover goodies.

Cyndi Lockhart said...

Thank you so much for this!

Eli Yanti said...

Awesome prize, thank you :)

Mary Preston said...

I hadn't heard about Fisher House before. Thank you for the highlight.

LMcLendon said...

Leftover swag!! Enjoyed reading about Fisher House........Thanks for sharing.

tiggers' owner said...

That's awesome, as was recognising some of the other participants' names. May God bless you all. <3 Kylie C

Michelle Koebel said...

This is an awesome thing to do for the ladies. Books are always a gift to receive.

Tanya Guthrie said...

Wow, you are truly inspiring! This is an amazing thing you started and you and the authors who donated are beyond wonderful!

Amanda S. said...

OMG I'd looove to win! Thank you so much for the chance, I hope I'm not too late.

Jane Nelson said...

What a great gift you and the other authors give to women that probably don't have anything! You are all awesome women! Thank you for doing what you do for others! 💜💜

Christy said...

So generous! Thanks for the chance!

Emily Baucom said...

Thanks for the chance to win, such a wonderful idea.

Jessica Whitehouse said...

Thank you for your generosity! I'm sure that the women who received the gift bags felt so pampered. It's a great idea to donate to military moms, especially since many of them don't get to celebrate Mother's Day if their spouse is deployed.

Dusty Summerford said...

You are such an inspiration!! Thank you for all that you do!! ❤❤

Angie-la said...

I love how the author community always pulls together to make memories for those who need them most!

Sabrina Joy said...

I think that's very wonderful that you do this! And it's also very inspiring that you and the romance author community have contributed to such a great cause! Thank you so much for all that has been done and achieved!

Mary Lawson said...

What a wonderful group of authors to do this. I know these ladies had a special day because of your thoughtfulness. Thank you

George meisner said...

Thank you for all your hard work.

Eileen A-W said...

As I've told you on fb, what a wonderful idea and generous thing to do. I am so sure the ladies receiving them appreciated all the work you put into this thoughtful gift!!

Laurie Skinner Gray said...

What a wonderful and generous thing you've done!

Sydnee Walsh said...

Thanks for the chance! Love the swag!

Anita H said...

What a very nice gift for all the recipients! Kudos to you and all the authors who participated for being so generous!! :D

ggrugger said...

What a wonderful gift from you and your fellow authors, readers and friends do. Such a considerate gift from the heart.

cleo sidiropoulos said...

Yes please, thank you for the chance

cleo sidiropoulos said...

Yes please, thank you for the chance

Tamina Hayward said...

Ty for the chance

Corissa P said...

What an awesome thing to do! I bet they loved it! I know I would have. Thanks for the chance at the great leftovers.

AmandaStar said...

This is so incredible! Seeing all the pictures of goodies, I can imagine how appreciated these were! :)

Dora Balfour-Lyda said...

Thanks for the chance!
You have a heart of Gold!

Dora Balfour-Lyda said...

Thanks for the chance!
You have a heart of Gold!

Melissa McClone said...

This is for C-Jay M: What a wonderful thing to do for a wonderful cause. Thank you, and thanks for the giveaway.

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Ellen Ankenbrand Hardin - i wanted to say thanks so much to you and the other authors who did this- i live 8 minutes outside ft gordon augusta ga- and we have a fisher house- and being a mil brat- former mil- mil wife- this is one of my fav charities

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Pilar Williams Seacord

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Megan Asmus

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Marcy Shuler

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Brooke Haine

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Jennifer Williams- Collins

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Shelly Keller

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Renee Bolton

Melissa McClone said...

This if for Kathleen Bylsma

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Suzanne Thatcher

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Lourie Staib

Melissa McClone said...

This is for Ramona Cecelia Koon

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